The Alpine Seed Conservation and Research Network

Project leader: Konrad Pagitz

Project members: Maria Holoubek, Brigitta Erschbamer, Vera Margreiter, Barbara Pernfuß (University of Innsbruck, Institute of Botany), Elinor Breman, Jonas Mueller, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Graziano Rossi, Andrea Mondoni, Thomas Abeli, Francesco Porro, Università di Pavia, Christian Berg, Patrick Schwager, Universität Graz, Catherine Lambelet, Jacqueline Detraz, Ville de Geneve, Noémie Fort, Gap

Funding: David and Claudia Harding Foundation, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK)

Duration: 2016 - 2019

The Network focuses on seed collection, germination and survival of species along an elevation gradient, effects of provenances in Saxifraga species and germination dynamics.

The project focuses on the following topics:
-    Urgent ex-situ conservation of the region’s most endangered alpine community species
-    Dissemination of research on these species to aid conservation and restoration activities
-    Development of a conservation network to foster long-term co-operation and collaboration

Within the joint project, the Institute of Botany and the Botanical Garden at the University of Innsbruck is responsible for the collection of 100 alpine species from the Eastern Alps of North and East Tyrol. The PhD research program (2016-2019) comprises field-, common garden- and growth chamber experiments. Germination and survival of species will be investigated in relation to seed provenance, sowing altitude, presence of established species and soil type. Alpine species (decreasing species at the alpine zone and ubiquitous ones) will be compared to migrating species from lower altitudes (increasing species at the alpine zone). A common garden experiment compares the germination dynamics of Alpine Saxifraga species and test the effects of provenances. By means of growth chamber experiments, germination traits of the different species groups will be checked.

The Alpine Seed Conservation and Research Network is funded by the David and Claudia Harding Foundation, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK) and consists of six partners: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (United Kingdom); Università di Pavia, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell’Ambiente (Italy); Conservatoire Botanique National Alpin, Gap-Chambery (France); The Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de  Geneve (Switzerland); The University of Graz, Institute of Plant Sciences and Botanical Garden; University of Innsbruck, Institute of Botany and Botanical Garden.

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