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