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The Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC), a facility of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, is a 13–acre greenhouse, nursery, and seed bank complex located on Staten Island, NY.

Symposium: What is Local? Genetics & Plant Selection in the Urban Context , Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This symposium, organized by the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, addressed the genetic basis for protecting local plant populations—with a focus on making informed choices in selecting source material for urban restoration.

The health and long–term survival of native plant populations depends on the preservation of the gene–based adaptations plants have made to their local environment. Urban ecosystems with increased fragmentation, altered environmental parameters, and introduced plant material further complicate their genetics and their survival.


Picture of the What is Local? Symposium

Project

Symposium: What is Local? Genetics & Plant Selection in the Urban Context. (Tuesday, May 23, 2006, American Museum of Natural History)

Co-sponsors who supported the cost of the symposium:

Presentations

To view audio slide shows by the symposium speakers, click on the View Presentation link below for the presentation of your choice.

Setting the Table: The Changing Flora of the New York Metropolitan Region

Setting the Table: The Changing Flora of the New York Metropolitan Region, presented by Dr. Gerry Moore

Dr. Gerry Moore, Director of Science/BBG

Dr. Gerry Moore explores the changing flora of the five boroughs of New York and the surrounding region and discusses patterns of loss and gain in plant species over time and how this influences what we consider 'local' in the urban context.

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Genetics 101: Genetic Differentiation in the Age of Ecological Restoration

Genetics 101: Genetic Differentiation in the Age of Ecological Restoration, presented by Dr. Susan Mazer

Dr. Susan Mazer, University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Susan Mazer reviews the genetic principles that govern plants and plant populations, and provides the basis for understanding the genetic consequences of importing plant materials onto restoration and management sites.

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Nuts & Bolts: Genetically Appropriate Choices for Plant Materials to Maintain Biological Diversity

Nuts & Bolts: Genetically Appropriate Choices  for Plant Materials to Maintain Biological Diversity, presented by Arlee Montavalo

Arlee Montavalo, University of California, Riverside

Dr. Arlee Montalvo explores methodologies for safely choosing source material for restoration and management activities and provides rationale for making those choices.

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Pondering the (Near) Future: Climate Change and the Genetics of Plant Migration & Adaptation

Pondering the (Near) Future: Climate Change and the  Genetics of Plant Migration & Adaptation, presented by Dr. Julie Etterson

Dr. Julie Etterson, University of Minnesota, Duluth

Dr. Julie Etterson draws on her research to explain how plants migrate in response to environmental change and explores how plant populations will respond to climate change and what will determine their success or failure to withstand these challenges.

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Synthesis: The Realities of Ecological Restoration in Urban Centers

Synthesis: The Realities of Ecological Restoration in Urban Centers, presented by Dr. Steven Handel

Dr. Steven Handel, Rutgers University/Center for Urban Restoration Ecology

Dr. Steven Handel draws on his extensive knowledge of urban restoration ecology to relate the lessons of the day's presentations to the realities of working in fragmented highly-impacted urban ecosystems.

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Next Steps: Implementing Change in New York City

Next Steps: Implementing Change in New York City, presented by Ed  Toth

Ed Toth, Director, Greenbelt Native Plant Center

GNPC Director Ed Toth reflects on the bureaucratic stumbling blocks that make it difficult to employ sound genetic principals when procuring restoration plant materials and suggests next steps for improving the system.

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