Biodiversity metrics for conservation management in the British Virgin Islands

Generating three biodiversity metrics (phylogenetic diversity, species richness and species threat assessments) for flowering plants of the British Virgin Islands to help direct conservation action and management.

A landscape on BVI shows succulents, short grasses, rocks and the ocean

Cutting-edge scientific methods will quantify native biodiversity in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) by collecting all BVI’s angiosperm species. 

Three biodiversity metrics (phylogenetic diversity, species richness and species threat assessments) will be estimated to inform biodiversity conservation action and management, ecological restoration and research planning to respond to current biodiversity loss and climate change. 

Capacity building for local stakeholders will provide new skills to estimate and integrate biodiversity metrics into decision making and planning habitat restoration in key areas.

  • Output 1: Biobank for the BVI flora established: tissue and DNA of all native plant flowering species from the BVI secured in accessioned collections.
  • Output 2: A complete BVI Plant Tree of Life and biodiversity metrics calculated.
  • Output 3: Capacity built for integrating biodiversity metrics into conservation management, action and decision-making.
  • Output 4: Biodiversity metrics used to direct conservation action in the face of current and future threats.
  • Output 5: Outreach activities to reinforce the importance of conserving native plant species.

RBG Kew:

Dr Juan Viruel (he/him) Project Leader
Sara Barrios Co-Principal Investigator
Dr Colin Clubbe Steering group co-chair
Thomas Heller Co-investigator
Freya Cornwell-Davison Research Assistant
Amy Barker Research Assistant
Dr Carolina Tovar Co-investigator
Dr Felix Forest Co-investigator

A group of researchers pose for a photo on a path running through dense vegetation
Kew researchers and partners in the British Virgin Islands © Sara Barrios, RBG Kew

National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands:

Dr. Cassander Titley O’Neal Steering group co-chair
Mrs. Nancy Pascoe Co-investigator
Keith Grant Co-investigator

Herbarium of Mayaguez (MAPR, Biology Department, University of Puerto Rico):

Jeanine Velez

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