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Ex-situ conservation of Quercus oglethorpensis in living collections of arboreta and botanical gardens.Author(s): Matthew S. Lobdell; Patrick G. Thompson
Source: In: Sniezko, Richard A.; Man, Gary; Hipkins, Valerie; Woeste, Keith; Gwaze, David; Kliejunas, John T.; McTeague, Brianna A., tech. cords. 2017. Gene conservation of tree species—banking on the future. Proceedings of a workshop. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-963. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 144-153.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionQuercus oglethorpensis (Oglethorpe oak) is an endangered species native to the southeastern United States. It is threatened by land use changes, competition, and chestnut blight disease caused by Cryphonectria parasitica. The species is distributed sparsely over a linear distance of ca. 950 km. Its range includes several disjunct populations potentially harboring unique genetic diversity or adaptive variation. Protected populations in the Bienville National Forest (Mississippi), Oconee National Forest (Georgia), and Sumter National Forest (South Carolina) are regularly monitored and managed through a combination of techniques including burn management and selective clearing. Recently, several additional populations were discovered in Alabama, primarily along rights-of-way or on private land where they should be considered vulnerable or at risk of extirpation. One documented population in Sumter County, Alabama has already been lost to land clearing or logging activities. Traditional techniques such as seed banking are insufficient for ex-situ conservation of Q. oglethorpensis because it has recalcitrant seeds. It has been demonstrated, however, that the species is suitable for cultivation in much of the United States, allowing for the possibility of ex-situ conservation in the living collections of arboreta and botanical gardens.
In 2015, through a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and American Public Gardens Association, seed and/or samples of scion wood were collected from populations of Oglethorpe oak in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina and propagated at The Morton Arboretum (Lisle, Illinois). From there, they will be distributed to five arboreta and botanical gardens: Chicago Botanic Garden (Glencoe, Illinois), Starhill Forest Arboretum (Petersburg, Illinois), Holden Arboretum (Willoughby, Ohio), Donald E. Davis Arboretum of Auburn University (Auburn, Alabama), and Moore Farms Botanical Garden (Lake City, South Carolina). Through cultivation in the Nationally Accredited Collections™ of these arboreta and botanical gardens, genetically diverse and representative germplasm of Q. oglethorpensis will be preserved and potentially utilized in future reintroduction efforts.
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CitationLobdell, Matthew S.; Thompson, Patrick G. 2017. Ex-situ conservation of Quercus oglethorpensis in living collections of arboreta and botanical gardens. In: Sniezko, Richard A.; Man, Gary; Hipkins, Valerie; Woeste, Keith; Gwaze, David; Kliejunas, John T.; McTeague, Brianna A., tech. cords. 2017. Gene conservation of tree species—banking on the future. Proceedings of a workshop. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-963. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 144-153.
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