Preserving magnolias in the Caribbean
and Mesoamerica

For several years now, Planta! Plantlife Conservation Society has supported conservation actions to preserve magnolias in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. The Project has been developed by the Ghent University (Belgium) and the Regional Center of El Bajío-INECOL (Mexico), funded by the Foundation Franklinia.


Date: 12/11/2020


Project: Conservación de las magnolias en el Caribe y Mesoamérica


Twenty percent of the global plant species is threatened. Magnolias in particular are highly vulnerable and are almost entirely categorized as threatened. They are absent from ex situ collections around the world and are rarely targeted for in situ conservation actions. The Caribbean, with about 13 native species of Magnolia, and Mesoamerica with 55 species are two important centers of diversity of the genus. Molecular studies in this group are scarce, despite their contribution to an efficient conservation strategy. They could support action plans for the conservation of genetically diverse populations.

Molecular studies have been carried out by a team of the Ghent University (Belgium), the Regional Center of El Bajío-INECOL (Mexico) and Planta! Plantlife Conservation Society.

The main objective of the project, funded by the Foundation Franklinia, is tracking the evolutionary and biogeographic history of magnolias in the Caribbean and Mesoamerica, and to apply these studies to specific conservation actions for a group of magnolia species. The project will also assess the conservation status of the magnolia species under study.

Molecular studies are very important for an efficient conservation strategy.

“Collaboration with locals and stakeholders is a vital component of the project toward the conservation of magnolias in the Caribbean and Mesoamerica”

The project aims to determine the genetic structure and diversity of the group in all its range of distribution. Additionally, it will contribute to update the classification of the section Talauma, and to track its biogeographical history.

The team of Planta! Plantlife Conservation Society and its Caribbean partners have collected samples during numerous field expeditions. Trainings on molecular techniques and data analysis have taken place during the project, as well as joined work sessions. Teams from the Ghent University, the Regional Center of El Bajío-INECOL (Mexico) and Planta! have held several workshops to share experiences, information and to discuss their results. This successful collaboration has produce several scientific papers and it is intended to continue in the future.

Working together is always at the heart of Planta! to promote active conservation for endangered species around the world.

Sharing experiences and knowledge among team members has characterized every workshop.

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