Zelkova abelicea project in Crete

Zelkova abelicea project in Crete

Conservation of Zelkova abelicea in Crete

Organizations: Botanic Garden of  Fribourg, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh)
2019 / 2021

The primary aim of this project is to enable, enhance and promote the long-term conservation of Zelkova abelicea; a relict, threatened and endangered endemic tree species of Crete (Greece) by coupling in situ and ex situ conservation actions with communication and outreach activities and other collaborative activities.
The project will maintain existing fenced plots, build fences for newly established seedlings in the wild, monitor the growth of Z. abelicea and other woody species within fenced plots and investigating the effects of abiotic (e.g. climatic and soil properties) and biotic factors (e.g. insects) on the growth of the species.
Fruit collection, curation and storage in a seed bank, cultivation and propagation of seedlings are also part of the project. In situ and ex situ conservation actions will be coupled with communication and outreach activities. Guidelines and recommendations for the conservation and management of Z. abelicea will be drafted and presented to the local and national authorities responsible for the protection of threatened plant species.