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Plant conservation in urban and semi-urban landscapes has become essential in a climate-change-biodiversity-loss scenario. The integration of native flora into cities contributes to global efforts to conserve plant species and the development of sustainable horticulture (i.e., water-wise gardens). Many large cities have seen the benefits from the introduction of green infrastructure, including community integration, improving health, and reducing carbon emissions. To accomplish this link within urban environments, it is important firstly to study the species. We aim to create technological packages focusing on native plants that were successfully introduced to European horticulture in the XVIII century, nowadays forgotten, and endangered species with ornamental potential of the seasonally dry tropical forest (SDTF). Field trips are regularly made to pristine forest remnants of the Caribbean region of Colombia. Plant collection, seed collection, phenological annotations, plant architecture, and plant ecology are among the primary interests. Plant material is processed at the herbarium of the Cartagena Botanical Garden (CBG) for ID confirmation, at the seed bank for storage and the research nursery for propagation purposes. Trials of light intensity, drought tolerance, different soil types, and irrigation regimens are made to establish species limitations and optimal growing conditions. Considering the area of influence, the SDTF, a highly endangered ecosystem, our work is of great relevance in conserving native plant species and the ecosystem as a whole. We strive to conserve, restore, and enrich ecosystems through long-lasting actions involving the use of native species in urban and semi-urban landscapes. Results will be available at the CBG web portal in order to promote open and accessible data.

Keywords:

Horticulture
Lanscape
Ecology
Biodiversity
Caribbean
Botanical Garden

Maria Contreras

Presentation within symposium:

S-46 Noah´s Arcs of the Anthropocene: the role of Botanic Gardens in Caribbean plant conservation

Conservation of forgotten and endangered Caribbean plants through domestication for tropical landscaping

-Review-