The Role of Botanic Gardens in Species Recovery: The Oblong Woodsia as a Case Study

Phil Lusby, Adrian Dyer, Stuart Lindsay


A translocation experiment to reintroduce the rare fern Woodsia ilvensis (L.) R.Br. to former sites in England and Scotland is described. The demands of this kind of conservation work brings the work of scientists and horticulturists together. High losses of transplants are to be expected and in order to gradually build up populations in the wild, translocation programmes may have to adopt a multi-phased approach. The facilities at botanic gardens are well suited to this type of conservation work.

Full Text:



ALLEN, D. E. (1969). The Victorian Fern Craze. Hutchinson, London.

ANON. (1994). Biodiversity: The UK Action Plan. London: HMSO.

ANON. (1998). UK Biodiversity Group. Tranche 2 Action Plans. English Nature 1998.

CRAWLEY, M. J. (Ed.) (1986). Plant Ecology. Blackwell.

DYER, A. F. (1994). Natural spore banks — can they be used to retrieve lost ferns? Biodiversity and Conservation 3: 160-175.

DYER, A. F. & LINDSAY, S. (1992). Soil spore banks of temperate ferns. American Fern Journal 82: 89-122.

DYER, A. F., LINDSAY, S. & LUSBY, P. (2001). Woodsia ilvensis in Britain — last chance or lost cause? Pteridologist 3: 134-137.

FLEMING, V. & SYDES, C. (1997). Genetics and rare plants: guidelines for recovery programmes. In The role of genetics in conserving small populations: Proceedings of a BES symposium'. Ed. TEW, T. E., SPENCER, J. W., STEVENS, D. P., USHER, M. B. &

WARREN, J. JNCC, Peterborough.

LUSBY, P. S., LINDSAY, S. & DYER, A. (2002). Principles, practice and problems of conserving the rare British fern Woodsia ilvensis (L.) R. Br. Botanic Journal of Scotland. 53. (in press).

WHITTEN, A. J. (1990). Recovery: A proposed programme for Britain's protected species. Nature Conservancy Council, CSD Report, No. 1089.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh