Field Work Leading to Plant Genetic Conservation in the Dominican Republic

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Between May 10 and June 5 FIU-FTBG Graduate Student and Coordinator of Conservation of The National Botanic Garden of the Dominican Republic Mrs. Rosa Rodríguez, performed field work in the Dominican Republic to collect samples for conservation genetic studies of Pseudophoenix species found in this country. The project focused on the Hispaniolan endemic P. vinifera, the Caribbean endemic P. sargentii, and what appears to be a distinct morphological form from northern Dominican Republic. Rosa Rodríguez also sampled material for future anatomical studies. Botanists Mr. Teodoro Clase and Mr. Alberto Veloz from The National Botanic Garden of the Dominican Republic joined and helped Rosa during these field studies. The logistics of the trip were coordinated by Mr. Francisco Jiménez, Head of the Botany Department of this botanic garden. A total of 12 populations (over 270 individuals) were sampled and they will provide the core of Rosa’s research. The study is being funded by the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden research funds. In December 2012 the Montgomery Botanical Center supported Rosa’s initial field studies, they aimed to identify the main populations to be included in this project. Images below. Top left: Teodoro Clase processing samples for anatomical studies. Top right: Individuals of P. vinifera growing in Jimana, near the border with Hati. Bottom localities visited during the field studies. Number of sampled plants indicated in brackets.

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