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Plant Conservation Resources

Click Here for the SE PCA’s Advocacy Page
Southeastern Plant Conservation Info Sheet

General information regarding the SE PCA and the need for plant conservation in the Southeastern United States.

Save Plants featuring Xila and Gila

Center for Plant Conservation’s President & CEO Dr. Joyce Maschinski worked with artist and animator Desert Dada to create a general audience animation communicating the importance of plants to creatures great and small.

Center for Plant Conservation Advocacy Efforts

Opportunities to learn more and get involved in advocacy for plants, including tracking legislation, contacting congress, and staying up-to-date on CPC position papers.

Native Plant Conservation Campaign Advocacy Resources

Contact your elected officials and find outreach tools to speak out for plants.

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Plant Conservationist Toolkit

Help the National Wildlife Federation pass the most important wildlife conservation bill seen in decades.  Resources include talking points, state-specific resources, media materials, and specific tools for hunters, birders, and gardeners.

United South and Eastern Tribes

USET Office of Environmental Resource Management.

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Tribal Impact

Tribal impact of and support from RAWA

Native American Fish & Wildlife Society

Tribal Fish and Wildlife Management.

The Botany Bill

H.R. 1572 & S. 2384

The Botany Bill promotes botanical research & sciences capacity, generates demand for native plant materials, & authorizes related federal activities.

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

H.R. 2773 & S. 2372

Update 19 Jan 2022 – Ordered Reported – A committee has voted to issue a report to the full house chamber recommending that the bill be considered further.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide states, territories, and tribes with $1.39 billion annually to catalyze proactive, on-the-ground, collaborative efforts to restore essential habitat and implement key conservation strategies, as described in each state’s Wildlife Action Plan. 

Botanic Garden Solutions to the Plant Extinction Crisis

Westwood, Murphy, Nicole Canender, Abby Meyer, and Paul Smith. “Botanic garden solutions to the plant extinction crisis.” Plants People Planet, Vol. 3, No. 1, Jan 2021, pp. 22-23.

“Botanic gardens and arboreta have evolved significantly from their origins as oases reserved for the elite, to the conservation powerhouses they are today, visited by over half a billion people annually. Now, with their sophisticated facilities and botanical expertise, gardens are uniquely positioned to address many of the challenges associated with preserving plant diversity for the benefit of people and the planet. Globally, however, resources for and awareness of these efforts are limited. Funders, governments, corporations, and global citizens need to greatly increase their support of gardens, recognizing the critical role they play in a scientifically informed, coordinated, global effort to save plants from extinction – because all life depends on plants.”

Can a Botanic Garden Cycad Collection Capture the Genetic Diversity in a Wild Population?

Griffith, M. Patrick, et al. “Can a botanic garden cycad collection capture the genetic diversity in a wild population?” International Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 176, No. 1, Jan 2015, pp. 1-10.

“Conservation of plant species often requires ex situ (off-site) cultivation of living collections. Cycads constitute the most imperiled major group of plants, and ex situ collections are an important part of conservation planning for this group, given seed recalcitrance, difficulties with tissue culture, and ongoing in situ threats. Very little is known about the genetics of ex situ conservation collections of cycads. Thus, this study seeks to illuminate how well an ex situ collection of a cycad can capture the diversity in a wild population.”

Conservation Triage or Injurious Neglect in Endangered Species Recovery

Gerber, Leah R. Conservation triage or injurious neglect in endangered species recovery.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 13, 29 Mar 2016, pp. 3563-3566.

“Listing endangered and threatened species under the US Endangered Species Act is presumed to offer a defense against extinction and a solution to achieve recovery of imperiled populations, but only if effective conservation action ensues after listing occurs. The amount of government funding available for species protection and recovery is one of the best predictors of successful recovery; however, government spending is both insufficient and highly disproportionate among groups of species, and there is significant discrepancy between proposed and actualized budgets across species. In light of an increasing list of imperiled species requiring evaluation and protection, an explicit approach to allocating recovery funds is urgently needed.”

Endangered species recovery: A resource allocation problem

Gerber, Leah R, et al. “Endangered species recovery: A resource allocation problem.” Science, Vol. 362, No. 6412, 19 Oct 2018, pp. 284-286.

“Many nations have laws to identify and protect imperiled species and their ecosystems. In the United States, actions taken under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) have prevented many extinctions, but few listed species have recovered to the point where they can have the ESA protections removed.”

Ex Situ Conservation of Plant Diversity in the World’s Botanic Gardens

Mounce, Ross, Paul Smith, and Samuel F Brockington. “Ex situ conservation of plant diversity in the world’s botanic gardens.” Nature Plants, Vol. 3, No. 10, Oct 2017, pp. 795-802.

“Botanic gardens conserve plant diversity ex situ and can prevent extinction through integrated conservation action. Here we quantify how that diversity is conserved in ex situ collections across the world’s botanic gardens.”

Getting Plant Conservation Right (or Not): The Case of the United States

Havens, Kayri, Andrea T. Kramer, and Edward O. Guerrant Jr. “Getting plant conservation right (or not): the case of the United States.” International Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 175, No. 1, 2014, pp. 3-10.

“Effective plant conservation includes addressing basic needs such as information about species distribution and rarity; research, management, education, and training capacity to mitigate threats facing threatened species; policy and funding to support continued capacity and conservation; and, ultimately, a public that understands and supports the importance of plants and the need for their conservation. Coordination of plant conservation efforts is also needed to ensure that resources and expertise are used in a strategic, efficient, and effective manner.”

Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery

Humphreys, Aelys M., et al. “Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery.” Nature Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 3, No. 7, July 2019, pp. 1-5.

“Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few can name a recently extinct plant. We present a comprehensive, global analysis of modern extinction in plants. Almost 600 species have become extinct, at a higher rate than background extinction, but almost as many have been erroneously declared extinct and then been rediscovered. Reports of extinction on islands, in the tropics and of shrubs, trees or species with narrow ranges are least likely to be refuted by rediscovery. Plant extinctions endanger other organisms, ecosystems and human well-being, and must be understood for effective conservation planning.”

How global biodiversity hotspots may go unrecognized: lessons from the North American Coastal Plain

Noss, Reed F., et al. “How global biodiversity hotspots may go unrecognized: lessons from the North American Coastal Plain.” Biodiversity and Distributions, Vol. 21, No. 2, Feb 2015, pp. 236-244.

“Biodiversity hotspots are conservation priorities. We identify the North American Coastal Plain (NACP) as a global hotspot based on the classic definition, a region with > 1500 endemic plant species and > 70% habitat loss. This region has been bypassed in prior designations due to misconceptions and myths about its ecology and history.”

Insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States—A regional synthesis to support biodiversity conservation in a changing climate

Cartwright, Jennifer M. and William Wolfe. “Insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States – A regional synthesis to support biodiversity conservation in a changing climate.” US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1828. pp. 1-162.

“Over several decades, numerous localized, site-level investigations have yielded
important information about the floristics, physical environments, and ecological dynamics of these insular ecosystems; however, the literature from these investigations has generally remained fragmented. This report consists of literature
syntheses for eight categories of insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States, concerning (1) physical geography, (2) ecological determinants of community structures including vegetation dynamics and regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, (3) contributions to regional and global biodiversity, (4) historical and current anthropogenic threats and conservation approaches, and (5) key knowledge gaps relevant to conservation, particularly in terms of climate-change
effects on biodiversity.”

Patterns of Expenditure for Plant Conservation

Negrón-Ortiz, Vivian. “Pattern of expenditures for plant conservation under the Endangered Species Act.” Biological Conservation, Vol. 171, Mar 2014, pp. 36-43.

“An estimated 31% of the native plant species in the United States are considered at risk of extinction, and 11% receive protection under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). But with current and projected threats, many at risk non-listed plant species will need protection under the ESA. Recovery priority guidelines based on a ranking system exist to help identify the most cost-effective use of limited resources to recover listed species.”

Plant diversity in a changing world: Status, trends, and conservation needs

Corlett, Richard T. “Plant diversity in a changing world: Status, trends, and conservation needs.” Plant Diversity, Vol. 38, No. 1, Feb 2016, pp. 10-16.

“Although only a minority of plant species have a specific human use, many more play important roles in natural ecosystems and the services they provide, and rare species are more likely to have unusual traits that could be useful in the future. The major threats to plant diversity include habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation, overexploitation, invasive species, pollution, and anthropogenic climate change. Conservation of plant diversity is a massive task if viewed globally, but the combination of a well-designed and well-managed protected area system and ex situ gap-filling and back-up should work anywhere.”

Regional records improve data quality in determining plant extinction rates

Knapp, Wesley M., et al. “Regional records improve data quality in determining plant extinction rates.” Nature Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 4, April 2020, pp. 512-514.

“The underlying data disparity probably has several, sometimes confounding, explanations—some of which are well addressed by Humphreys et al. Underestimates of extinction may be attributed to insufficient information, low detectability and a reluctance to publish taxa as extinct even when strongly supported by available data.”

Taxonomic similarity does not predict necessary sample size for ex situ conservation: a comparison among five genera

Hoban, Sean, et al. “Taxonomic similarity does not predict necessary sample size for ex situ conservation: a comparison among five genera.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Vol. 287, No. 1926, 13 May 2020, pp. 1-9.

“Effectively conserving biodiversity with limited resources requires scientifically informed and efficient strategies. Guidance is particularly needed on how many living plants are necessary to conserve a threshold level of genetic diversity in ex situ collections. We investigated this question for 11 taxa across five genera.

Vascular plant extinction in the continental United States and Canada

Knapp, Wesley M., et al. “Vascular plant extinction in the continental United States and Canada.” Conservation Biology, Vol. 35, No. 1, Feb 2021, pp. 360-368.

“Extinction rates are expected to increase during the Anthropocene. Current extinction rates of plants and many animals remain unknown. We quantified extinctions among the vascular flora of the continental United States and Canada since European settlement. We compiled data on apparently extinct species by querying plant conservation databases, searching the literature, and vetting the resulting list with botanical experts.”

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Plant Conservationist Toolkit

Help the National Wildlife Federation pass the most important wildlife conservation bill seen in decades.  Resources include talking points, state-specific resources, media materials, and specific tools for hunters, birders, and gardeners.

Biodiversity in Focus: United States Edition

“In the first report of its kind, Biodiversity in Focus: United States Edition reveals an alarming conclusion: 34% of plants and 40% of animals are at risk of extinction, and 41% of ecosystems are at risk of range wide collapse.  The analyses presented in the report inform how to effectively and efficiently use our financial resources to make the best conservation decisions.”

Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful

“This report and the recommendations that follow are anchored in a simple truth: nature is essential to the health, well-being, and prosperity of every family and every community in America.”

The US National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration: Progress and prospects

“The National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration was developed by a partnership of 12 federal agencies and over 300 non-federal cooperators in the United States and launched in 2015. Implementation aims to ensure the availability of genetically appropriate native seed for ecological restoration across the country. Ecological restoration is required in response to a wide range of human impacts.”

North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation

“The North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation is a tool for anyone. It is meant not only for botanic gardens but others as well such as zoos, natural history museums, universities, governments, native plant societies, and any other interested groups. From the smallest organization to the largest, all can find utility and the inspiration to action.”

Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

“Without plants, there is no life. The functioning of the planet, and our survival, depends upon plants. The Strategy seeks to halt the continuing loss of plant diversity. Our vision is of a positive, sustainable future where human activities support the diversity of plant life (including the endurance of plant genetic diversity, survival of plant species and communities and their associated habitats and ecological associations), and where in turn the diversity of plants support and improve our livelihoods and well-being.”

Science Needs of Southeastern Grassland Species of Conservation Concern: A Framework for Species Status Assessments

“This report reviews the ecology of southeastern grasslands, including influences on their origin, maintenance, and high species richness and endemism; presents findings from the workshop; and discusses science questions, hypotheses, and possibilities for future research projects to help fill key knowledge gaps.”

The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Summary For Policymakers

“A key objective of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is to provide Governments, the private sector and civil society with scientifically credible and independent up-to-date assessments of available knowledge for better evidence-informed policy decisions and action at the local, national, regional and global levels.

Ensuring Effective Implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Targets

“Biodiversity underpins the fundamental elements for human well-being including food security, human health and access to clean water. In 2010, the Aichi Targets were adopted by world leaders to address the crisis of biodiversity loss. Despite conservation efforts, none of the Aichi Targets have been fully met. However, comprehensive analysis of the reasons for failure in terms of implementation mechanisms is, to date, rare and limited in scope. Here, we demonstrate that most parties did not set effective national targets in accordance with the Aichi Targets, and investments, knowledge and accountability for biodiversity conservation have been inadequate to enable effective implementation.”

Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

“As the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020 comes to an end, IUCN actively supports the development of what needs to be an ambitious new global biodiversity framework.”

State of the World’s Plants and Fungi 2020

“This report tackles the knowledge gaps and unlocks the known and potential benefits of fungi and plants for us and our planet. Drawing upon the expertise of 210 researchers in 97 institutions across 42 countries, this unparalleled collaborative effort, generously funded by the Sfumato Foundation, aims to tell the world where we might find solutions to the challenges we face. Although there is no single or easy way out of the environmental crisis, the relevance of plant and fungal science cannot be understated.”

Principles for ecosystem restoration to guide the United Nations Decade 2021-2030

“A key step in creating a shared vision of ecosystem restoration is to adopt principles that underpin the full set of ecosystem restoration activities. To this end, this brochure presents ten principles for ecosystem restoration including a first principle that orients restoration in the context of the UN Decade, followed by nine best-practice principles. These best-practice principles detail the essential tenets of ecosystem restoration that should be followed to maximize net gain for native biodiversity, ecosystem health and integrity, and human health and well-being, across all biomes, sectors and regions.”

The Southeast Conservation Blueprint

“The Blueprint is a living, spatial plan that identifies important places for conservation and restoration across the Southeast and Caribbean. It’s helping more than 250 people from over 100 organizations bring in new funding and inform their conservation decisions.”

Southeast Region Conservation Planning Atlas

“The Conservation Planning Atlas (CPA) is a science-based mapping platform where conservation managers and LCC members can go to view, retrieve, and perform analyses on spatial information with specific conservation goals in mind… Data can be searched, viewed, and used in analyses. Additionally, you can upload your own data to your account to be used in conjunction with these datasets. The CPA provides a platform for LCCs to create galleries to showcase a cohesive collection of spatial information and supporting documentation. Several galleries are being showcased at each portal. The CPA also allows its users to create groups of members from several organizations who may have the same conservation goals. Within a group, you can perform analyses, upload data, and share information for other group members to use. The CPA was created in an effort to create a shared blueprint for landscape conservation actions that sustain natural and cultural resources.”

Southeastern Animal Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need List
State Wildlife Toolkit for Conservation Leaders

“The National Wildlife Federation is proud to offer the first-ever toolkit for wildlife conservation leaders to strengthen state fish and wildlife agencies and reverse America’s wildlife crisis. We envision building a broad-based coalition that will empower state wildlife agencies to fulfill their mission to conserve all wildlife for all people.  A larger and broader constituency for wildlife will inspire political leadership to strengthen the capacity, governance, funding and meet the growing demands of outdoor enthusiasts who fuel our nation’s economy. Our goal is to create the climate for strong and effective state fish and wildlife agencies for the next 100 years.”

State Wildlife Toolkit Plant Resources

“Engage, support and inspire state agency leadership and governing entities to create the future state wildlife agency by expanding the successful model of conservation for game species to all wildlife and to expand wildlife-related outdoor recreation and education to all people.”

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

“Designed by NOAA and partners, the Climate Resilience Toolkit provides resources and a framework for understanding and addressing the climate issues that impact people and their communities.”

Considerations for Wildlife & Fire in the Southern Blue Ridge

The publication was funded by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network, a partnership of government, conservation groups, and individuals working to return fire to the mountains.

CPC Best Plant Conservation Practices to Support Species Survival in the Wild

For more than 35 years, CPC conservationists have worked to save imperiled plants. Drawing on this wide and varied expertise within the CPC network, CPC President and CEO, Dr. Joyce Maschinski, led a network-wide effort resulting in the most comprehensive and up-to-date compendium on plant conservation in the world – the CPC Best Plant Conservation Practices to Support Species Survival in the Wild.

The Fire Manager’s Guide to Blue Ridge Ecozones

This book is designed for fire managers and forest management staff, silviculturists, private landowners, and anyone interested in learning more about the role of fire in the Southern Blue Ridge.

Weakley’s Flora of the Southeastern United States

Produced from the FloraManager database system by Michael T. Lee