Happy 2011

Crataegus monogyna L. © E. Laguna, CIEF, 10.12.2010

From the blog of GENMEDA, we wish you a Happy New Year. Good seed harvesting and conservation during 2011


Seed banking for wild plant species became a big issue in the Greek news headlines!

Unfortunately, this summer we have had a very sad event: the burning from wild fire of the beautiful palm tree forest of Preveli (with the threatened species of Phoenix theophrasti) in South Central Crete, in August 2010.

We (the Mediterranean Plant Conservation Unit of MAICh) have contacted the Forest Directorate of Rethymno, one of the authorities responsible for the management of Preveli, and we informed them about the seedlot from Preveli preserved in the Seed Bank of MAICh (that could be used for reforestation or for the reinforcement of the population in Preveli); we have also made the point about the risk of transferring genetic material from the other population of Phoenix, since our studies so long have shown that there are genetic differences among the two populations and the diversity of Preveli should not be affected by that of Vai.

At the same time, we have published an article in a local newspaper of Chania about the seedlot of Phoenix theophrasti from Preveli we preserve in our seed bank, along with other endemic and threatened wild plants of Crete, the studies for the genetic diversity among populations, as well as some general things about the function of the seed bank. We took also the opportunity to speak about the networks of seed banks we participate in (GENMEDA and ENSCONET).
The same article has been also published to an important national newspaper and this has risen up a big public discussion about seed banking and also, about the way reforestations take place in Greece without taking into account the origin and the genetic identity of the material used.
The next days, we gave several interviews in other newspapers, in local and national radio stations and TV channels, and many people have been informed about the existence and the importance of seed banking wild plant species!

Fortunately for the site of Preveli, it seems that things are not that bad as initially thought... And probably no reforestation will be needed. The trees of Phoenix (and some other plant species) have already started to regenerate! Christina Fournaraki from our Unit and Prof. Costas Thanos from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens have visited the site after the burning. You can have a look at the photos they made.
Now the area is under strict control and guarding; no grazing, no visitors, not any activity is allowed. Let’s hope that soon Preveli will become again the ‘paradise’ it used to be!

Panagiota Gotsiou & Christina Fournaraki
Mediterranean Plant Conservation Unit
Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh)

Photo Credits: MAICh and Prof. Costas Thanos


Genmeda is on the road

Now that it seems the summer is touching its end we are more than pleased to inform you all that Genmeda network continues as lively as the first day.

Since all the members liked the Ifedes Group´s (www.grupoifedes.com) proposal for our new website and concurred on working with them, we can happily say that the Genmeda webpage will be ready by the end of 2010.

The signing of the agreement for the creation of the net that took place last June was the starting point for what we hope it will be a long race. In this sense, the Communication working group has been successfully coordinating the joint efforts to carry out the relevant tasks for the development of the website.

Also, you can do your bit and make suggestions to include some contents that may be an added value to our web space´s launching pad. So, do not hesitate! They will be very welcome.

In parallel, Genmeda´s newsletter no. 5 will see the light very soon with a different name and look, Odissea Seminum. We hope this change of label is for good and brings a broader dissemination about Genmeda´s work. As the website is currently under construction it will be sent by email to all partners. Once again, your ideas will be gladly received for issue no. 6.


Barcelona Botanical Garden holds a successful meeting of the GENMEDA network

Instut Botànic de Barcelona, inside the Botanical Garden of the city, held the meeting of Genmeda network, 10/06/2010. © Emilio Laguna

On the occassion of the second edition of the Catalan Congress on Plant Conservation taking place in Barcelona last week, GENMEDA partners celebrated a decisive meeting which meant a big step forward for the setting up of the ambitious network.

By bringing back the two former projects (Genmedoc and Semclimed) as a sample of the essential collaboration and engagement, Antoni Marzo (CIEF) intended to present the goodness of a formal establishment to Genmeda, which has been, in any case, a common work scenario for the last years.

Antoni Marzo, coordinator of the Genmeda's first steps, introduced the network goals and procedures. ©Emilio Laguna, 10/06/2010

Gloria Ortiz (CIEF) piloted the meeting, making the presentation of key issues and moderating the group discussion. ©Emilio Laguna, 10/06/2010

In like manner, discussions were open to review the main controversial issues, such as, name of the network translated into all the partners' languages, layout of Odissea Seminum newsletter, website composition, importance of databases, candidates for network positions, working groups and last but not least, new members accession. In regards to these topics we reached the following applicable proposals:

- Board-meeting candidatures to be voted: Myriam Virevaire (President, CBNM Porquerolles), Anna Guglielmo (Secretary, DB University of Catania), Gloria Ortiz (Treasurer, CIEF).

- Centres/members of the Steering Committee proposals to be voted: Josep Lluís Gradaille (JB Soller), Gianni Bacchetta (CCB Cagliari), Josep M. Montserrat (JB Barcelone), Christina Fournaraki (MAICh) and Elena Estrelles (JB Valencia).

Representatives of JBUV (Elena Estrelles), CBNM (Myriam Virevaire), DBUC (Anna Guglielmo and Pietro Pavone) and CIEF (Pablo Ferrer, Antoni Marzo and Jesús Martínez), attending the meeting. © Emilio Laguna, 10/06/2010

- Working groups: 1) Communication and diffusion; 2) Genmeda's Database; 3) Ex situ culture collections; 4) Research (habitats preservation, molecular studies, etc.); 5) 'Relex' (external relations); 6) Strategic planning; 7) Virtual collection, index seminum, duplication, infosheets; and 8) Network’s future.

- General Assembly meeting will be held in Rome next May-June 2011 (date still to be fixed). Dr. Pietro Pavone kindly made first arrangements phoning their Roman colleagues during the current meeting.

Group picture including most of the meeting attendants, before starting the meal. © Emilio Laguna, 10/06/2010

In a nutshell, thanks to joint efforts and best practices, Genmeda network is a lively transnational network that will provide a shared stand for flora conservation actions.


Hopeful new year

2010 Greetings card sent by the Conservatoire Botanique Nationale de Porquerolles (CBNP)
We start 2010 with the engagement to go on with the true constitution of GENMEDA. Founder memberships have agreed during 2009 a convention, to be finally signed during the next months, so to effectively create GENMEDA as a formal platform of entities, devoted to plant conservation around the Mediterranean area. We expect thet 2010 will be the GENMEDA year¡¡¡


More protection for Calendula maritima

Calendula maritima. Picture extracted from the IUCN website (http://www.iucn.org/) © Anna Giordano for the IUCN's Top 50 of Mediterranean Island Plants, MIPSG-SSC. This image houses a link to the IUCN booklet. Please consult there the page 92-93.

The Sicilian endemic Calendula maritima Guss. was selected as one of the species to conserve through the SEMCLIMED/GENMEDOC projects, developed by the GENMEDA network. It deals with one of the most relevant endangered species of the Mediterranean area, included in the Top50 list of Mediterranean Island Plants(http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/mediterranean_top50_en.pdf) and the IUCN global redlist (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/61618/0). C. maritima only lives in a few selected sites of the province of Trapani, having its locus classicus in the Nature Reserve Saline di Trapani e Paceco; all the populations are considered as endangered including those of the nature reserve, due to the projected enlargement of the harbour of Marsala, close to the salinas.

Dr. Angelo Troià, former director of the Nature Reserve and one of the most known botanists in Sicily, has fighted for years in order to obtain more protection measures for this species; in addition, practically all the Sicilian botanists and conservationists have claimed for the preservation of the species sites. Recently the councilior Mr. Salvatore Daidone proposed an amendment to the regional provisions, in order to engage more the public institution with the future conservation of C. maritima, even considering it as a province symbol for nature conservation. We are glade to announce that the President of the Province of Trapani, Mr. Girolamo Turamo, has sent us a letter confirming the approval of this proposal, which will add to endure the future for this species. Many thanks from oor blog, and long life for Calendula maritima!

Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendula_maritima


2nd Newsletter of EBONE is ready

The European Biodiversity Observation Network (EBONE) has recently edited the second isue of its Newsletter, which will be soon available on-line at the project webpage www.ebone.wur.nl As an advance of the EBONE Newsletter information, please find the announces of forthcoming events therein indicated:
-IALE European Congress 70 years of Landscape Ecology in Europe “European Landscapes
in Transformation - Challenges for Landscape Ecology and Management”.
Date: July 12 – 16
Place: Salzburg, Austria.
Further information:

-2nd European Congress of Conservation Biology “Conservation biology and beyond:
from science to practice“.
Date: September 01 – 05
Place: Prague, Czech Republic
Further information:
-“LANDSCAPE – Theory and Practice” - 15th International Symposium on Problems of
Landscape Ecological Research
Date: September 29 – October 02
Place: Bratislava, Slovakia
Further information:


International congress ISHS/ISSS in Murcia, Spain, Sept. 2009

As most of you already know the ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science) and ISSS (International Society for Seed Science), under the cooperation of CEBAS-CSIC in Murcia (Spain), organize the 5th International Symposium on Seed, Transplant and Seed Establishment of Horticultural Crops, to be done in Murcia between 27th Sept. and 1st Oct. Deadlines are closing quickly so please contact the webpage as soon as possible, if interested to attend and participate in this event.



2nd circular Seed Ecology III

The organizers of the 3rd world conference on seed ecology (Seed Ecology III), to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah (USA), June 20-24 2010, have passed us the 2nd circular -see below-. Please visit the website www.seedecology3.org

Dear Colleagues

I am happy to announce that we are on track for Seed Ecology III, the 3rd International Society for Seed Science Meeting on Seeds and the Environment. Following in the excellent tradition established at meetings in Rhodes in 2004 and Perth in 2007, this meeting will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 20-24, 2010.

I have attached a PDF flyer with meeting dates, location, website url, and contact email--please print this and post it prominently at your institution. We hope to attract wide participation from the community of seed ecologists from around the world.

For more information, please visit our website at: www.seedecology3.org. If you have additional questions, you may contact the organizing committee at: admin@seedecology3.org.

To aid in our planning, it would be very helpful to get an early indication of your possible attendance. Please send us an email, or use the 'contact us' button on the website, to let us know of your interest, and to be placed on an email list to be notified of website updates as they occur.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in Salt Lake City in June 2010.

Cordially, Susan
Dr. Susan E. Meyer, Research EcologistUS Forest Service Rocky Mountain research Station


Forthcoming meeting of GENMEDA

After the poll carried out about the Genmeda network and the conclusions prepared with the members' answers, the coordination team (CIEF) propose to cellebrate a closed meeting during the congress "Biodiversity Hotspots in the Mediterranean Area", to be attended my most GENMEDA memberships. In order to not disturb the attendance to conferences, the meeting is proposed meeting towards the end of the congress and before the field trips: the 24th June at 17.30h in Cosmese Room, located in the Botanical Garden of Cagliari.