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The Plant Germplasm Bank of the Majella National Park: a practical help for the conservation of biodiversity

The Majella Germplasm Bank deals with activities of ex situ conservation of rare species and/or endangered, endemic and species suitable for interventions of re-naturalization in vulnerable or damaged ecosystems within the Park.
It is a founder member of the Italian Network of Germplasm Banks for the ex situ conservation of Italian flora (RIBES), whose function is to build up a seed reserve for critically endangered wild plants, thus implementing a nature conservation strategy which is complementary to the strategies of in situ conservation guaranteed by parks and reserves, in line with the objectives of international conventions on nature conservation.

For the different plants there is a specific collection protocol, as specified in the guidelines of the conservation program of the “Millennium Seed Bank (MSBP)”, devised and developed by the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Garden, UK). The accession data is recorded in a database in order to allow the identification of the plants with a reference code.

The samples collected from the field are controlled, verified and subjected to a series of qualitative and quantitative tests (viability and germination ability). Afterwards, the seeds are processed in a dehydration chamber where the humidity percentage is reduced; once the dehydration phase is over, the sample is packaged and stored in a freezer at -18°C in order to ensure a long-term conservation. The facility is located in the Michele Tenore Botanic Garden in Lama dei Peligni and it hosts students and researchers carrying out research activities and thesis projects promoted by the Park Authority.

Image of the seeds of the Germplasm Bank
Image of a germination test of the Germplasm Bank
Image of a collection taken in the Monte Amaro
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