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Plant Focus

A guest post by Matt Candeias, host of the In Defense of Plants podcast and blog


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Published May 2016 International Oaks No. 27: 290–303


The program of the 8th International Oak Society Conference included nine workshops held on the afternoon of the first day (Monday) – and in addition, a “pre-Conference” day-long workshop was held on the Sunday, before the official opening of the Conference that evening.

The IUCN Red List Workshop for Oaks, under the auspices of Sara Oldfield, Murphy Westwood, and Nicole Cavender, was attended by 43 participants who were put to work after being walked through the extremely complex, admittedly not intuitive, architecture of the IUCN Red List categories and how threat assessments are articulated in that framework.

Participants were asked to join one of four groups (Eastern North America, Western North America, Asia, or Mexico) to provide any information they had pertaining to, on the one hand, nomenclature, and on the other, the species themselves. In preparation for this exercise, a species list per region had been compiled from a variety of checklists and floras with a view toward establishing an agreed-upon species list.

The resulting list, the Global Oak Species List, completed in November 2015, includes 482 names. It can be consulted on the IOS website (internationaloaksociety.org; type: Oak Red Listing Species List – Global Oak Species List in the “Search” box in the upper right-hand corner). Participants provided information pertaining to species that is significant to the “threat assessment” process currently undertaken by the Morton in collaboration with the IUCN and has helped to produce the final Oak Red Listing Species List for the oaks of the Americas (also available on the IOS website; type: Oak Red Listing Species List – Oaks of the Americas). For a detailed account of the Morton’s red-listing initiative, see pp. 277-289.