Magnolias are under threat

Magnolias are appreciated and admired around the world as an ornamental tree due to their large cup-shaped attractive flowers which cover the whole tree creating a breathtaking display. Despite their beauty and popularity they are under threat. A recent research report published by The Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) concluded that half of all Magnolia species are under threat from extinction in their wild habitat. Reasons include deforestation from commercial logging, habitat loss and climate change. This ancient tree species has survived on earth for a long time living through various global changes but we must act fast now to prevent losing them. One of the most popular garden types, Magnolia stellata, is categorised as endangered. A red list of Magnoliaceae species was conducted by experts which has carried out an assessment of the 304 wild Magnolia species from around the world. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is a globally recognised approach which is used to evaluate the conservation status of plants and animals. This has helped provide information and help analyse status, trends and threats to species. The Red List has been used by scientific institutions and governments around the world to help guide and carry out conservation. The Global Trees Campaign (GTC) is supporting conservation projects in China and the Neotropics where the global hotspots for Magnolia species occurs. It is becoming very important to have Magnolia species growing in gardens, botanic gardens, arboretums and stored in seed banks. These ex situ collections are essential to help safeguard the species in the event of extinction in the wild. The species currently in cultivation in gardens does not represent the number found in the wild. This highlights the need to prevent logging and habitat loss through conservation in wild populations.

BGCI

Global Trees Campaign

Magnolia Society InternationalĀ 

 

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Published by

Kirsty Wilson

Horticulture is my inspiration! I am the Herbaceous Supervisor at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Photographer, Award winning Garden Designer and Beechgrove Garden television presenter. I want to inspire people to grow plants, connect with nature and have a positive impact on the world.

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