Propagation of threatened trees in Jordan

Several tree species that once dominated the Jordan Valley are now severely threatened nationally, including Faidherbia albida, Salvadora persica, Maerua crassifolia and Acacia tortilis. Propagating and restoring wild populations of these trees is essential to prevent loss of genetic material and for the survival of the species in Jordan.

Jordan’s flora includes more than 2,551 plant species that are adapted to the arid condition of the country, including more than 60 tree species.  Many of these are now locally threatened, in part due to high levels of overexploitation, causing genetic erosion and threatening ecosystem function.

With support from the Global Trees Campaign, the Royal Botanic Garden, Jordan (RBGJ) has conducted research into the propagation of Jordan’s native trees. As a first step, RBGJ gathered and reviewed available information about propagation techniques for native tree species, from Forestry Department research centres and private nurseries. This highlighted a strong focus on exotic species. For the small number of native species for which trials had been undertaken no systematic and scientific documentation of the approaches had been followed, and no results obtained.

To address this gap, RBGJ is collecting seed from, and undertaking propagation trials for threatened Jordanian tree species. Seed is being stored in the RBGJ seed bank, and results of propagation trials are being recorded with the aim to develop and publish propagation protocols.

Increasing available information about these species will enable a wider group of stakeholders to grow and plant native and threatened tree species, with the long-term goal of improving their conservation status in the wild.

Did you know?

Trees from the Dipterocarp family are the dominant species in Southeast Asia’s rainforests.  In some cases, they comprise up to 90% of the canopy layer.