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Editor's Picks

Carlos collecting Quercus ×alentejana (Q. faginea × Q. pyrenaica) in northeastern Portugal for his PhD thesis © Carlos Vila-Viçosa
An interview with Portuguese oak conservationist Dr. Carlos...
Amy Byrne | Apr 19, 2024
Roderick Cameron | Apr 13, 2024
Pages from Gert's book
It was a great pleasure for me to be able to write about my...
Gert Fortgens | Feb 15, 2024

Plant Focus

Quercus crassipes acorns with inrolled cupule margin
One of the more well-known Mexican oaks in cultivation.

Conversations with Conservationists

Oaks are in trouble. The recent IUCN Red List Assessment indicates that roughly 41% of all oak species are threatened with extinction. From habitat loss to diseases and invasive species, there is no single factor we can point to that explains the state of oaks across the globe. It is a case of death by a thousand cuts. Needless to say, oaks need our help. However, just as the threats to oaks vary, so too must efforts to conserve them. In the two episodes linked below, Dr. Matt Candeias of In Defense of Plants sits down with Dr. Murphy Westwood and Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare of The Morton Arboretum to talk about oak conservation efforts. Dr. Westwood outlines a series of oak-assessment projects as well as the need for ex-situ oak conservation in the form of conservation groves for threatened species. Dr. Alvarez-Clare discusses her work on conserving two species of oak in situ, (Quercus brandegeei and Q. insignis), which involves engaging members of the local communities that depend on them the most. Hopefully, conversations like these will inspire even more oak conservation efforts. After listening, please consider picking up a copy of Matt’s new book, In Defense of Plants: An Exploration into the Wonder of Plants, wherever books are sold. Click on the links below to access the episodes:

Oaks in Trouble: A conversation with Dr. Murphy Westwood

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Community-Based Oak Conservation: A conversation with Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare

Quercus brandeegei
Quercus brandeegei acorns © José Luis León de la Luz and CIBNOR