FlorNatur - ex-situ conservation of threatened and protected native plants in the western part of Poland
FLORNATUR programme for the ex situ conservation of gene resources of rare, protected and threatened species of Polish wild flora from natural habitats aims in comprehensive long-term protection of the gene pool of species which are endangered by extinction, plants from the natural habitats in Poland, on the Natura2000 areas.
Rational ex situ gathering, and later utilisation and proper distribution of the stored genetic material of valuable, threatened and protected species of Polish flora is accordant with backgrounds of national and international policy on biodiversity conservation as well as the fulfilment of Poland’s legal commitments.
Cosignatories of the Rio de Janeiro Convention on Biodiversity Protection (5th June 1992), including Poland, committed themselves to “include in the restoration and restitution programmes 60 percent of endangered species of plants creating available ex situ collections as well as to protect 70 percent of genetic diversity of crops and other plants of great social and economic significance”.
Within the FLORNATUR programme, plant genetic material –seeds and their parts – will be gathered in the traditional storage conditions (temperature -20°C) and in the cryopreservation temperature of liquid nitrogen(-196°C) or its vapour (-150°C to -160°C).
Viability of the gathered genetic material will be evaluated. Seedlings obtained during germination and sprouting testing will serve to initialise in vitro and ex vitro cultures, which in the future can be used to implement the programmes of restoration and restitution of endangered species and enrich educational collections of botanic gardens as well as enable scientific research.
FLORANTUR will be run by three institutions: Kostrzyca Forest Gene Bank – State Forests’ unit of a national range, Karkonosze National Park and Botanic Garden – Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.
Each of institutions, in order to gain funds, applied with supplementary projects within the Competition 2/2009 – 5.1.2 “Ex-situ conservation of species, genetic resources conservation and building of the rehabilitation centres for animals”, announced by the Environmental Projects Coordination Centre in the frames of a 5th Priority – Nature Conservation and Environmental Attitudes Shaping, Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment.
Projects will be implemented in the years 2009-2012 and financed by the EU’s funds, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management or by the institutions involved own funds.
Titles of the projects addressed to the Environmental Projects Coordination Centre:
- “Ex situ conservation of threatened and protected wild plants in the western part of Poland – FlorNaturLBG”
- “Conservation of the most valuable species of flora of the Karkonosze National Park – Jagniątków Living Gene Bank”
- “Ex situ conservation of wild, threatened and protected plants in eastern Poland – FlorNaturOB”
One of the detailed goals of the FLORNATUR programme is creating the digital database concerning the stored genetic material. The system will promote cooperation among different units involved in the rational conservation and use of diversity of our country’s native flora.