Conservation Project on Taxus
The RBG Edinburgh Yew Conservation Hedge Project is growing a few accessions of Taxus baccata L. of Portuguese origin. This project is part of the The International Conifer Conservation Programme of the Botanic Garden and aims to gradually replace the existing perimeter hedge by one of yew only. The new plants are propagated from either heritage trees or from native populations where the species is threatened.
International Year of Pulses 2016
The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Pulses are the seeds of plants that belong to the family Leguminosae (also known as Fabaceae) and the term “pulses” is limited to crops harvested solely for their dry grain. The fruit in this family is always a pod, although the flowers vary in structure.
Using herbarium plant material
Collecting biological material requires care and attention to detail on locality, environment and general facies of the organism, all registered in the field-book, nowadays often directly in the computer.
The techniques used to prepare material for herbarium are time-consuming
but quite simple and extremely effective. The specimens can be used for
decades, even centuries, in different fields of research.
Herbaria in a time of global change
Since the beginning of agriculture, mankind grew both in number and in the sophistication of demands on biological resources. At present, the changes we have inflicted on the ecosystems acquired such a velocity that they require from us a fast understanding of the consequences of our actions, a full comprehension of the planet we live in, and a radical change in our way of life where required. Necessity and insight will speed up the latter. As for the first two, the biological collections throughout the world, the electronic technologies and the specialists, the taxonomists, are the assets to rely on.