The botanical garden has not only revived garden history
The botanical garden has not only revived garden history, it has also created a better framework for preserving Botanical Gardens’ collection of over millions of plants species for posterity. Expectations have been fully met thanks to a complete professional effort.
Long before the term “biodiversity” appeared, botanic gardens were doing activities that are now associated with it.
They participate in the description of new species and the studies carried out on them in order to discover the possible uses in agriculture, industry, horticulture or for research.
Gardens have also historically conserved rare wild plant species (ie, ex situ conservation , that is, outside the natural environment of the species).
The collections of garden plants are certainly reference collections par excellence for their diversity (more than 80 000 species are represented in the collections of the world’s botanic gardens, ie almost one-third of the known plants) and for the documentation attached thereto .
A botanical garden gives us a real glimpse of the world of plants. The plants that make up forests, steppes or meadows are crossed here: an exceptional dive in all the tremendous diversity of these plants around the world. And yes, of course, this is the easiest way to “visit” the tropics.
Botanical gardens combine two important things: pleasure and scientific research. For many, it’s not a logical association. The visit of a botanical garden simply allows you to relax, to forget for a moment the stress of the city and the daily life. What’s more pleasant than being quiet while enjoying unusual plants? In addition, the garden is also a source of knowledge for research into the use of plants. Even today we discover a plant that have not been described and that is why the Botanical Garden of Berlin seeks to transmit this knowledge.
Botanical gardens are a unique environment to raise awareness and the importance of biodiversity to the general public, to help them become aware of current threats and to realize that nature conservation is deal with each of us. Hence the importance for gardens of maintaining interpretive programs, hosting school groups, exhibiting, etc
Ex situ conservation, that is, the cultivation of wild plants out of their environment, has several advantages, It is rather one of the elements of a global strategy for the conservation of species in their environment. It also helps to remove wild populations from the pressures of scientists, horticulturists or collectors. Indeed, the presence of a rare species in a botanical garden makes it available for scientific research, education and possible horticultural or commercial exploitation without affecting wild populations. Ex situ conservation can also serve as an “insurance policy” for endangered species by creating a protected reserve of seedlings of particularly vulnerable species or populations.
Today, this role is increasingly broadened to include research into not only the plant species but also the ecosystems in which they live. Botanic gardens are an ideal environment for research as their collections and libraries provide documentary resources and the necessary facilities, such as laboratories, greenhouses, grow chambers, herbarium and data management system, are present on site.