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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
suriname_uprooted-oak-emblem-of-wry.jpg
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.

Ex-situ Conservation of Quercus marlipoensis, an Extremely Endangered Oak of Southwest Yunnan, China

Project Contact: Dr. Min Deng, Professor, School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Yunnan University (Chenggong campus), South Section, East Outer Ring Road, Chenggong District, Kunming, Yunnan, 650500, China.

Project Summary: The project aims to survey the wild populations of Quercus marlipoensis and gather mature acorns of the species. Project leaders will conduct seed germination experiments, seedling establishment in a greenhouse, micropropagation, and somatic embryogenesis protocols for ex-situ conservation and population restoration. They will focus on optimizing the cryopreservation protocol to conserve the seeds of this endangered oak. This study aims to secure the wild population of Q. marlipoensis, reveal the factors that impact the species’ survival, and provide technical support for the ex-situ conservation of this extremely endangered oak.

Executive Summary: Tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) have been long recognized as one of the biodiversity hotspots and most threatened ecosystems globally. Quercus marplioensis is a critical endangered oak that endemically distributes in TMCFs of SW China, with only one population ever found. Based on our previous field survey, the population showed pronounced regeneration difficulties with very rare young trees/seedlings. Our ongoing work showed that the germination rate was high, but the seedling establishment was highly sensitive to low precipitation and air humidity. Artificial propagation and Ex situ conservation are crucial to conserve the germplasm of this endangered oak. 

In this study, we will extensively survey the wild populations and gather mature acorns of Q. marlipoensis. We will conduct seed germination experiments, seedling establishment in a greenhouse, micropropagation, and somatic embryogenesis protocols for ex situ conservation and population restoration. Meanwhile, we will focus on optimizing the cryopreservation protocol to conserve the seeds of this endangered oak. This study can secure the wild population of Q. marlipoensis, reveal the factors that impact the species’ survival, and provide technical support for the ex situ conservation of this extremely endangered oak. 

Further Reading

IO 32 cover

  Quercus rex: Distribution, Status, and Conservation
Qiansheng Li, Min Deng, and Mengmeng Gu (International Oaks No. 32)

IO 34 cover

Conservation of Quercus arbutifolia, a Rare Oak, from Southern China’s Montane Cloud Forests
Min Deng, Xu Jun, Yi-Gang Song, and Xiao-Long Jiang (International Oaks No. 27)