MEM 97 C02-Ex situ Conservation of Cycads at the National Botanic Garden, Cuba.

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08/14/2020 02:10:21

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Cycads are represented in Cuba by the endemic genus Microcycas (Miq.) A. DC., with only one species Microcycas calocoma (Miq.) A. DC., and the genus Zamia L. with seven species: Zamia amblyphyllidia D.W. Stev., Z. angustifolia Jacq., Z. integrifolia L.f., Z. pumila L., Z. ottonis Miq., Z. pygmaea Sims, and Z. stricta Miq., the last three being endemic. In this paper we present the creation of a scienti�cally documented collection, in which threatened germplasm of Microcycas calocoma, Z. amblyphyllidia, Z. integrifolia, Z. ottonis, and Z. pygmaea is conserved in ex situ conditions. Seeds, whole individuals, and rhizome fragments were collected from 14 localities, most of them from western Cuba. The germplasm was cultivated under shade house conditions with �ltered natural light and good aeration. To develop �eld gene banks, individuals were planted in three open-air zones of the National Botanic Garden of Cuba. The individuals were distributed randomly in an adequate substrate, and the feasibility for future monitoring was considered. As a result, collections of 156 individuals of M. calocoma, 26 of Z. amblyphyllidia, 177 of Z. integrifolia, 40 of Z. ottonis, and 35 of Z. pygmaea were established. The collections of Z. amblyphyllidia, Z. integrifolia, and Z. ottonis were established as �eld gene banks in the “Mogotes,� “Manigua Costera,� and “Serpentina� zones of the National Botanic Garden. The relevance of the collection and its ef�cacy for the conservation of the species are discussed.