Projects

Current Research at the Gardens

DNA Barcoding

DNA barcoding has been used to test species status of living plant specimens and herbarium specimens. In a recent project in collaboration with Queen’s University, Belfast, we used DNA barcoding to help determine evidence of food fraud. Samples of ground herbs were...

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Phylogeography of Saxifraga nivalis

Project Background The Irish flora has approximately 16 plants that are considered arctic or alpine. We are currently studying a group of arctic-alpine Saxifrages with the aim to decipher their geographical origins. One of these species, Saxifraga nivalis, is...

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Phylogeography of Arbutus unedo

  Colin Kelleher (National Botanic Gardens) Project Background The Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) has a predominantly Mediterranean distribution. The Irish populations are disjunct from the major populations in the Mediterranean, Portugal and Spain. To date we still...

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ForGen – Forest Genetic Resources Research Programme

  Project Background ForGen is a collaborative research programme involving University College Dublin, Coillte, Teagasc and the National Botanic Gardens. As part of the ForGen programme, we are currently undertaking a number of studies on the phylogeography and...

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Hottentot fig control on Howth Head (Carpobrotus edulis)

Project Background Hottentot Fig (Carpobrotus edulis) is a popular garden plant from South Africa. It is also an aggressive invader of coastal habitats, which forms vast mats to the exclusion of all other plants. On the Gower peninsula of Wales and along the Cornish...

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Conservation of Abutilon Pitcairnense

  Pitcairn island Pitcairn Island is the infamous hideout of the Bounty mutineers; it is an extremely isolated island at the southeast of the main group of Polynesian Islands, and roughly situated half way between New Zealand and South America and just south of the...

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Biogeography of Irish Arctic-Alpine Caryophyllaceae

  Project Background The Irish arctic-alpine flora consists of a rare and fragmented group of plants, some of which have disjunct populations distributed around Europe. According to conventional theory of plant immigration to Ireland, species colonized the island at...

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The Vascular Flora of Lambay

  Lambay is an island of just over 240 hectares lying some four kilometres off the east coast of county Dublin, Ireland. Two previous publications have dealt with the vascular flora of Lambay: Hart’s survey of 1881 and 1882 (Hart, 1883); and Praeger’s 1905 and 1906...

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Floras of the Irish Isles

  Project Description A literature survey of Irish island floras (Achill, Aran, Aranmore, Clare, Inishbofin, Inishturk, Mullet and Rathlin) revealed a correlation between the log of the island’s area to the log of species...

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A Revision of the Ant-Plant Genus Hydnophytum (Rubiaceae)

  Project Background Hydnophytum is the largest of the five genera of 'ant-plants' in the Rubiaceae. These plants are almost exclusively epiphytic, and develop chambered tubers at the base of their stems, which act as homes to ants or other creatures - a remarkable...

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Eradication of Gunnera tinctoria on Clare Island, Co Mayo

Project Background Alien invasive plant species are currently of global concern, they are considered to be the second largest threat globally, after habitat destruction, to biodiversity. Gunnera tinctoria is native to Chile and Argentina and is currently an invasive...

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DNA Barcodes – Maples

Project Background DNA barcoding is a technique whereby short stretches of DNA are used to determine species identity. It has potential applications in a wide array of disciplines such as ecology, food safety and forensic science. To produce the DNA barcode suitable...

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