Log in

Editor's Picks

Pages from Gert's book
It was a great pleasure for me to be able to write about my...
Gert Fortgens | Feb 15, 2024
Quercus marlipoensis acorns
A new study has analyzed the germination characteristics of...
Website Editor | Feb 15, 2024
Gall on Quercus grahamii
A new species of oak gall wasp has been named in honor of...
Website Editor | Feb 14, 2024

Plant Focus

For this Species Spotlight we train our follow spot on an oak that is quite a star of the quercine scene: Quercus hypoleucoides (stage name...

OC&R Committee Announces Second Round of Grant Funding

The IOS Oak Conservation and Research (OC&R) Fund was created thanks to a generous donation by IOS members Mark and Jolly Krautmann. The Fund supports projects in the areas of habitat restoration, ex-situ conservation, field surveying and population monitoring, education, and population reintroduction and reinforcement. After the first call for proposals in 2020, three oak conservation projects in Laos, Mexico, and the U.S. were supported in 2021 (“Oak Conservation in Laos”, “Building Local Capacity to Monitor and Conserve Oaks in Woodlands Managed for Charcoal”, and “Advancing the Ex-Situ Conservation of Oaks Using Cryopreservation”). 

The fund continues to be supported by IOS members. With this backing and another very generous and inspiring donation by Mark and Jolly Krautmann, the Fund was able to finance eight new projects from the 2022 call for proposals. “We received 17 grant requests, and just as we had hoped, their focus is to save oaks from extinction in parts of the world where they are under severe threats,” said OC&R Committee Chair Tim Boland. “We express our sincere gratitude to the Krautmanns and the IOS membership for supporting these endeavors. I also thank our grant review team and OC&R Committee members for their time and efforts to select and award these grants.” The eight projects are detailed below:

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

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.

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.

Quercus marlipoensis
Quercus marlipoensis at Tregrehan Garden, Cornwall, UK © Charles Williams

Quercus rubramenta in Guerrero State, a Giant Understudied Tree

Dr. Maricela Rodríguez, Global Conservation Consortium for Oak (GCCO) Coordinator for Mexico and Central America

The project aims to survey this species to determine its distribution and population size and status, reproduction and regeneration, its role in the maintenance and equilibrium of the forest, cultural uses, and relationship with the native population. With this information project leaders will be able to identify the threats that are impacting this IUCN Vulnerable oak. Also, as the oak does not appear to be in cultivation, they will collect acorns across the species range and propagate seedlings to replant in the wild and to conserve in ex-situ living collections.

Your Neighbors the Oaks

Mariana Tarin Toledo Aceves, Ecology Researcher, Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Carr. Antigua Xalapa Coatepec, 351. Col. El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. CP 91073

The project will develop educational courses to provide school teachers with training and environmental knowledge to share with their students. These training sessions will be shared with schools in 16 municipalities in the State of Veracruz, Mexico. Teachers and students will have the opportunity to learn about the diversity of oak trees in their region, to understand the importance of oaks and the services they provide in the ecosystem, and to participate in the propagation and planting of oak trees at their school and communities.

Conservation of Quercus macdougallii Martinez, a Microendemic Species of Sierra Norte, Oaxaca, México

Cecilia Liana Alfonso Corrado, Professor, Universidad de la Sierra Juárez, Avenida Universidad S/N, Ixtlán de Juárez, Oaxaca, México. C.P. 68725

The project aims to survey Quercus macdougallii to understand its current total distribution and population structure, assess the impact of climate change on its populations, identify the variables that affect its abundance and distribution, and analyze and evaluate its regeneration. Additionally, the project will raise awareness around the importance of this species to the local communities.

Quercus macdougallii
Quercus macdougallii, Los Pozuelos, Ixtlán de Juárez © Nelly Pacheco Cruz

Protection and Conservation Actions through the Extinction Risk Assessment Method for Five Endemic Mexican Oak Species

Maribel Arenas Navarro, Postdoctoral Researcher, Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad (IIES) UNAM, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro No. 8701, Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. C.P. 58190

The main objective of the project is to provide information required to list Quercus cualensis, Q. tuitensis, Q. nixoniana, Q. centenaria, and Q. mexiae under the NOM-059 (Official Mexican Standard for protection of native species) and update their IUCN categories for further protection and conservation action. The information will include distribution maps (current and with climate change), the current state of populations, germination rates, etc. In addition, the project aims to establish educational strategies to emphasize the importance of the species to the community.

Variación foliar de Quercus centenaria.
Quercus centenaria leaves © Luz María González Villareal

Conserving Quercus steenisii, a Narrow Endemic and Endangered Oak in Sumatra Island, Indonesia

Enggal Primananda, Researcher, Research Center for Plant Conservation, Botanic Gardens and Forestry, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Kusnoto Building, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda 18 Bogor, West Java, 16122, Indonesia.

This project will carry out the first population study for this species, using a focused survey method to assess distribution, population size and structure, habitat preferences, and current threats; the project will also initiate a set of efforts for ex-situ conservation. The findings of this study will provide the most recent population status of Quercus steenisii and will be used to update the conservation status of the species according to the IUCN Red List Criteria.

Quercus steenisii
Quercus steenisii Soepadmo collected in Indonesia by Naturalis Biodiversity Center 
(licensed under http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)

The Global Oak Pollen Bank

Daniel Ballesteros Bargues, Professor, University of Valencia, Av. de Blasco Ibáñez, 13, 46010 Valencia, Spain

This project has two aims: (1) to conduct basic research on drying and freezing tolerance in a diversity of Quercus species across territories and the oak evolutionary tree to confirm the universality of these traits in the oaks, and (2) to create the first “Global Oak Pollen Bank” that will preserve the genetic diversity of a variety of endangered oak species, as well as key species in ecosystem restoration projects in Europe and three of the most important oak hot spots (USA, Mexico, and China).

Scouting and Safeguarding Alabama’s Rarest Oak, Quercus boyntonii

Tracy Cook, Director of Plant Conservation & Curation, Huntsville Botanical Garden, 4747 Bob Wallace Ave SW, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA

The aims of the project are to count and georeference individual trees throughout Quercus boyntonii habitat, as well as assess their reproductive potential, collect and propagate acorns from a representative sample to safeguard important genetic diversity across the species’ range, and work diligently to slow the encroachment of invasive shrubs within the populations of the species.

Quercus boyntonii
Quercus boyntonii © Patrick Thompson

A webpage detailing the previous and current grant awardee projects will be shared with IOS members later this year. For more information about the IOS Oak Conservation and Research Fund, visit the IOS website here.