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Research Project: Genetic Characterization, Genetic Improvement, and Best Horticultural Management Practices for Subtropical/Tropical Ornamental Germplasm

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Plant Conservation Challenges in the Bahama Archipelago

Author
item Carey, Eric - Bahamas National Trust
item Gape, Lynn - Bahamas National Trust
item Knowles, Lindy - Bahamas National Trust
item Knowles, David - Bahamas National Trust
item Vincent, Michael - Miami Dade University
item Freid, Ethan - Bahamas National Trust
item Jestrow, Brett - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
item Griffith, Patrick - Montgomery Botanical Center
item Calonje, Michael - Montgomery Botanical Center
item Meerow, Alan
item Stevenson, Dennis - New York Botanical Garden

Submitted to: Botanical Review
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/28/2014
Publication Date: 2/4/2015
Citation: Carey, E., Gape, L., Knowles, L., Knowles, D., Vincent, M., Freid, E., Jestrow, B., Griffith, P., Calonje, M., Meerow, A.W., Stevenson, D. 2015. Plant Conservation Challenges in the Bahama Archipelago. Botanical Review. 80(3):265-282. doi: 10.1007/s12229-014-9140-4.

Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Abstract The Bahamian archipelago has a rich flora with 89 endemic species. An international symposium held at Nassau in October 2012 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the publication of the “Flora of the Bahama Archipelago” provided a forum to discuss plant conservation issues on these islands. This article builds on conclusions from this symposium and results from joint plant conservation research projects among the authors. The two main conservation challenges for these islands are: (1) environmental uncertainties derived from global climate change and associated sea level changes and (2) the need for increased plant conservation awareness among the predominant urban population of the archipelago. Legal tools and biodiversity international agreements in place for The Commonwealth of the Bahamas can facilitate mechanisms for effective plant conservation. Further legal developments need to be established in The United Kingdom Overseas Territory of The Turks and Caicos Islands. There is an urgent need to redevelop the Botanic Garden of Nassau and designate it as the national botanic garden of The Bahamas. Further research related to the taxonomy, biology, conservation status, and distribution of the endemic species is urgently needed. Research initiatives pertinent to the detrimental effect and biology of invasive species are also lacking. The heterogeneous environments and uneven distribution of human populations across the archipelago are major challenges for conservation. Finally because of the political and economic status of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos, conservation agencies from the archipelago do not have easy access to international or British/EuropeanUnion funds for global conservation initiatives.

Technical Abstract: Technical Abstract The Bahamian archipelago has a rich flora with 89 endemic species. An international symposium held at Nassau in October 2012 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the publication of the “Flora of the Bahama Archipelago” provided a forum to discuss plant conservation issues on these islands. This article builds on conclusions from this symposium and results from joint plant conservation research projects among the authors. The two main conservation challenges for these islands are: (1) environmental uncertainties derived from global warming and associated sea level changes and (2) the need for increased plant conservation awareness among the predominant urban population of the archipelago. Legal tools and biodiversity international agreements in place for The Commonwealth of the Bahamas can facilitate mechanisms for effective plant conservation. Further legal developments need to be established in The United Kingdom Overseas Territory of The Turks and Caicos Islands. There is an urgent need to redevelop the Botanic Garden of Nassau and designate it as the national botanic garden of The Bahamas. Further research related to the taxonomy, biology, conservation status, and distribution of the endemic species is urgently needed. Research initiatives pertinent to the detrimental effect and biology of invasive species are also lacking. The heterogeneous environments and uneven distribution of human populations across the archipelago are major challenges for conservation. Finally because of the political and economic status of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos, conservation agencies from the archipelago do not have easy access to international or British/EuropeanUnion funds for global conservation initiatives.