Conservation and Ecology

We undertake a combination of population surveys, manipulative field experiments, practical restoration projects and environmental change impact analysis to contribute towards the conservation of plant species in the UK and worldwide.

The three main projects in this area are:

Impact of environmental change on plant biodiversity (Antje Ahrends)

Morning mist in the Udzungwa Mountains

Drawing on large-scale floristic data sets, we are developing models to analyse the impact of environmental change on plant biodiversity, and to inform conservation priority assessments. We are investigating how data quality might be affecting these predictions, and where possible, we are incorporating information on species dispersal characteristics and adaptive potential.

The Scottish Plants Project (Dr Heather McHaffie)

Fumaria purpurea

From 2003 the Scottish Plants Project commenced a five-year partnership between Scottish Natural Heritage and The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. A range of vulnerable and endangered species were selected which require monitoring and research. Work on some of the species is a continuation of the Scottish Rare Plants Project. For more details on individual species visit the virtual plant trail which shows plants from sea level to mountain top species.

Visit the Scottish Plants Project's web page and the virtual plant trail - From Coast to Summit web site  


The ecology of bluebell taxa in the UK (Dr Deborah Kohn)

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Since 2004 we have been studying native British bluebells and non-native Spanish bluebells in the wild, the nursery, and in common-gardens across southern Scotland. The results will help us to determine their current status and assess the future prospects for Britain's favourite wild flower. 

Visit the Bluebell ecology project's web page.

See also the related Molecular Ecology project on Genetic markers, hybridisation and bluebells and our Bluebell image gallery

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)