We are assessing whether important seed collections and in situ preserves have sufficiently protected the genetic diversity of Fraxinus trees in the wild.
Using case studies, and developing new computational tools, we are working to quantify the "conservation value" of conservation efforts for Fraxinus. The aim of this project is to help us to determine whether we are conserving enough trees or seeds, and to identify where to sample next to get the most value for our effort in terms of genetic diversity. The first case study, in partnership with the Millennium Seed Bank at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, focused on European ash (Hoban et al. 2018). We quantified how much genetic diversity is likely already existing in the UK National Tree Seed Collection program, and where is best to sample seed. The second case study focused on white ash in the Allegheny National Forest (Flower et al. 2018). We determined optimal numbers of trees to treat with an insecticide to preserve living trees in the forest in spite of the invasive emerald ash borer.
The Morton Arboretum