Conserving endangered conifers

Forest Research scientist Matt Parratt recently visited Vietnam to assist in a global conservation project aimed at saving five threatened conifer species

News from Forest Research: March 2010

Matt Parratt demonstrating the use of air pots to nursery staff at the Conifer Conservation Centre at Bat Dai Son Nature Reserve Re-introduced Xanthocyparis vietnamensis trees in the Bat Dai Son Nature Reserve, all grown from cuttingsThe species under threat include the recently discovered Xanthocyparis vietnamensis and Cupressus tonkinensis, located in the karst limestone mountains of north-eastern Vietnam.

During his visit to the Bat Dai Son Nature Reserve in Ha Giang Province, Matt gave a presentation on the propagation of rare and endangered conifers. He also visited nurseries and met with local communities involved in the project to discuss and advise on propagation problems and techniques.

On his return, Matt brought back some Xanthocyparis vietnamensis seeds to the UK for examination and germination. It is hoped that this research, along with the guidance provided during the trip, will lead to more successful propagation and re-introduction of the endangered species in the wild.

Funded by the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum, Matt’s trip in December 2009 was part of a project run by The Global Trees Campaign (under the charity Fauna and Flora International) and the Centre for Plant Conservation in Ha Noi, Vietnam.

Forest Research is contributing to a specialist advisory role offered by the Forestry Commission’s National Pinetum at Bedgebury in England. Matt was able to provide expert knowledge on seed propagation based on FR’s seed and seedling biology research, as well as experience gained at the National Pinetum of propagating rare and endangered conifers.

For more information contact Chris Reynolds or Matt Parratt, or see our seed and seedling biology pages.


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This and other news stories can be found in the March 2010 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.