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.
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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.
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:
- New York Department of Parks & Recreation
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG)
- Rutgers University/Center for Urban Restoration Ecology (CURE)
- American Museum of Natural History/Center for Biodiversity & Conservation (CBC)
- Metro Forest Council (MFC)
- Greenbelt Conservancy
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
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.
Genetics 101: Genetic Differentiation in the Age of Ecological Restoration
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.
Nuts & Bolts: Genetically Appropriate Choices for Plant Materials to Maintain Biological Diversity
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.
Pondering the (Near) Future: Climate Change and the Genetics of Plant Migration & Adaptation
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.
Synthesis: The Realities of Ecological Restoration in Urban Centers
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.
Next Steps: Implementing Change in New York City
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.