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A pilot for discovering plant diversity

Trolleys containing green boxes.
Wed, 2015-01-21 17:30

Plants preserved as herbarium specimens provide the evidence of what plants there are, where they grow and when they were collected. They provide the basis for modelling plant distribution over time, act as evidence that ensures plants are named consistently, and are a source of material for analyses of anatomy, disease and disease control, biochemistry and evolutionary relationships. Together, the herbaria at Kew and the Natural History Museum, London, contain more than 12 million specimens and are consulted by many visitors from around the world.

Useful Plants Project – workshop held at Kew

Delegates at UPP workshop
Mon, 2015-01-19 10:04

Evaluation of work to conserve plants and support livelihoods

From 22 to 24 July 2014, after seven years of activities of Project MGU-the Useful Plants Project (UPP), the 2nd project review workshop was successfully held at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Kew). The main objectives of the workshop were:

Mycorrhizas in forest monitoring

Mycorrhizas in forest monitoring
Mon, 2015-01-12 15:59

Ectomycorrhizas play a pivotal role in temperate, boreal and some tropical forests by facilitating the uptake of water and nutrients from soil, enhancing drought resistance, and protecting roots from attackers. Changes in forest mycorrhizal communities are likely to affect the resilience of forest ecosystems to environmental changes, especially if the functions provided by these fungi are altered or disappear. Despite this, mycorrhizal fungi are rarely used in measures of forest status because large-scale, high-resolution, standardized and replicated belowground data are scarce.

Nation’s plant collection is blooming marvellous

Mon, 2015-01-05 11:38

Kew’s country garden at Wakehurst Place hosts four national plant collections, birches, southern beeches, St.Johns worts and Skimmia.

It is the latter, Skimmia which is now causing a stir, filling the Wealden garden at Ardingly with seasonal interest.

Botanists ensure safety of South American tree

Aextoxicon punctatum
Tue, 2014-12-23 11:54

The team from Kew’s 500-acre country estate at Ardingly ventured to Chile in 2009 and encountered smoking volcanoes and leech-infested forests in their hunt to save highly endangered plant species of the area. They brought back over half a million seeds from the most vital plant species they discovered, climbing mountains and volcanoes, crossing rivers, and even collecting by boat in a fjord surrounded by dense temperate rainforest while dolphins and sea lions swam alongside.

Science and technology committee hearing for Kew's £5 million 'budget gap'

Photo of Jodrell laboratory, Wolfson wing
Tue, 2014-12-16 16:49

The Science and Technology Committee announced on 12 November 2014 that it would hold a one-off evidence session addressing announcements made by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew regarding its £5 million “budget gap”.

Kew welcomes this hearing:

Deputy Prime Minister commits over 2 million to support Kew

The Palm House at Kew Gardens in the blue sky of autumn
Tue, 2014-12-16 16:07

In September, the Deputy Prime Minister agreed to maintain resource funding for Kew, with £1.5 million initially provided for the years 2014/2015. The extra £2.3 million adds significant funding to the institution, maintaining a government level of resource funding until April 2016.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

PhD studentships in ‘Science & Solutions for a Changing Planet’

Wolfson Wing of Jodrell Laboratory
Tue, 2014-12-16 08:48

The Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Partnership is a unique, world-class, multidisciplinary PhD training opportunity. Kew is a partner in this programme, helping to train and inspire a new generation of environmental experts and leaders to tackle some of the toughest challenges of our time. Students have the opportunity to be based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for their research projects, utilising our world-class collections, facilities and expertise.

Projects based at Kew come under two themes: