, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 2441-2454

Quasi in situ: a bridge between ex situ and in situ conservation of plants

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Abstract

Plant conservation urgently needs a concept that would unify different aspects of population viability as parts of conservation methodology. Such unification is especially lacking for ex situ conservation. We introduce a novel conservation approach in which ex situ collections maintained in natural or semi-natural environment and preserving both neutral and adaptive genetic diversity are a part of a complementary ex situ–in situ conservation strategy. Our approach is the first that explicitly takes into account ecologically significant (i.e. adaptive) variation of plants in both ex situ and in situ conservation actions. Using this approach we provide detailed guidelines for (1) representative sampling of the populations; (2) collection maintenance; and (3) utilization for in situ actions.