Click on the map for more detail on the
Island of New Caledonia .
the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Araucaria
website. The aim of this
site is to introduce the research that we are carrying
out and disseminate information on this fascinating
group of conifers.
New Caledonia is regarded as one of the world's 'biodiversity
hotspots'. Of the 3000+ vascular plants, 77% are endemic.
The conifer biodiversity is particularly important,
all of the 43 conifer species are endemic, representing
almost 7% of the world's conifers. This is remarkable
considering the small size of New Caledonia (19000km2).
Mineral mining coupled with timber exploitation, land
clearance and increased fire frequency have resulted
in 29 species of conifer being considered as threatened
under IUCN classification. There are 13 species of Araucaria
on New Caledonia (all endemic), 11 of which are classed
Browse the roll-over
image to the right for a glimpse of this diversity and
the species status.
research at RBGE: We are adopting a multi-disciplinary
approach to help address conservation issues within this group
and also to elucidate the evolutionary processes which have
given rise to this incredible diversity. Combining molecular
techniques, herbarium and field based research, we aim to
clarify the species limits and inter-relationships as well
as patterns of historical and contemporary gene flow. Developing
an understanding of these topics will help inform both In-situ
and ex-situ conservation programmes. Link
direct to our research team
The project is based primarily at RBGE but consists of full
and active collaborations with colleagues at the University
of Edinburgh, Institut de Recherche Pour le Developpement
(IRD), Service Province Sud and INCO.
Research on New Caledonian Araucaria at RBGE has received
funding support from NERC, the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh,
and the Scottish Executive and Rural Affairs Department.