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Plant Translocation Network

An international network of researchers, practitioners and policymakers using plant translocations to address biodiversity loss

Current activities

  1. Building a diverse global membership (see below for current members and judge for yourself how geographically diverse we are - we’re still very underepresented in South America, Asia and Africa);
  2. Developing a meeting proposal: Plant translocation and climate change: bioassay, surveillance and solution to a global threat?;
  3. Exploring the potential for review papers, special issues and practice-relevant publications to develop science and practice in using plant translocations to address global biodiversity loss.

Stop press! Journal of Ecology will be publishing a Special Feature in 2020, brief proposal here

Questions for improving plant translocation practice

The Plant Translocation Network was initiated in January 2018 by Sarah Dalrymple and Richard Winder, and has worked to develop 42 key research questions about plant translocations and climate change. These are organized into four research themes forming the basis of the four objectives below.

Objective 1: Use plant translocations as bioassays of climate change

Exposure to climate change will affect organisms as and when climatic thresholds for survival and reproduction are exceeded. This objective seeks field evidence for this by using plant translocations to resolve uncertainties in plant niche theory, particularly with respect to thermal niche. For example, what can translocations tell us about niche conservatism? How do niches alter for different ecotypes and/or zones within the species range and with different life stages of a plant species? Do plants adapt to new conditions post-translocation? What are the climatic thresholds for maladaptation?

Objective 2: Revealing recent climate change and monitoring future changes

Plant translocations circumvent problems like dispersal limitation, colonisation lag, and disequilibrium between available niche space and colonised area. They can address questions about the role of biotic interactions in shaping range shifts, where current efforts only amount to predictive modelling. They might also detect climate prediction failures; early detection increases the potential crucial model improvements and more timely adaptive management. Plant translocations can also help refine concepts like climate velocity, and the importance of microhabitat-buffering effects.

Objective 3: Evaluating the potential of plant translocations to provide solutions to climate-induced biodiversity loss

There is a growing but still polarised literature on the use of interventions such as assisted colonisation in dealing with climate change. Extant translocations could address some of the many questions associated with this controversial practice. When selecting recipient sites, how good are predictive techniques such as species distribution modelling? What additional edaphic or biotic parameters should be considered? What is the optimal timing? What were the unforeseen consequences of moving species into new habitats? What can translocations tell us about the potential for communities to receive new species? Will assemblages of species have to be moved together? How effectively can translocations achieve ecological replacement for lost ecosystem function? Can disease resistance be incorporated into translocations within-range or to new sites? What are the unexpected benefits of translocations and can they be harnessed to protect threatened or endangered species?

Objective 4: Define implications for policy and practice

A variety of existing frameworks can assist in deciding when translocations might be tested for staunching climate-induced biodiversity losses. Our work will go beyond that to provide the technical insight and evidence truly needed to judge when such interventions are feasible, enabling policy-makers to make better-informed decisions as to when translocations are desirable. Practitioners would also benefit from empirical knowhow and generalisations where these are achievable. Conventional thinking holds that scientists cannot reach “policy-relevant consensus about the ecological impacts of moving species” for timely climate change adaptation Neff & Carroll 2016. We argue however, there is an untapped resource in the yet-to-be-collated data on plant translocations. In order to maximize the utility and impact of the scientific discoveries, we will discuss issues at the interface of policy and science. How do we align the scientific projects with current policy needs and the political environment? How can we ensure that our work is in line with public views and enriched by public input? How do we take into account ethical issues?


We are always welcoming new members, please contact me (Sarah Dalrymple) if you’d like to be added to our contact list.

Search by surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Z


Thomas Abeli , University of Roma Tre , Italy

Sally Aitken , UBC Dept. of Forestry , Canada

Resit Akçakaya , Stony Brook University , USA

Andrew Almas, University of British Columbia , Canada

Aitor Ameztegui , University of Lleida, Spain

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Connie Barlow , Torreya Guardians , USA

Sarah Barrett , Dept of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions Western Australia , Australia

Tannis Beardmore , Natural Resources Canada , Canada

Timothy Bell , Chicago State University , USA

Joe Bellis , Liverpool John Moores University , UK

Sarah Bird , Chester Zoo , UK

Laura Boisvert-Marsh , Natural Resources Canada , Canada

David Boshier , University of Oxford , UK

David Bourke , Liverpool John Moores University , UK

Marlin Bowles , Morton Arboretum , USA

Barb Boysen , Forest Gene Conservation Association , Canada

Hannah Branwood , Liverpool John Moores University , UK

Alan Brown , Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park , UK

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Debojyoti Chakraborty , Department of Forest Growth and Silviculture Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW) , Austria

Ted Chapman , Millenium Seed Bank , UK

Anne Cochrane , Dept. Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, WA , Australia

Donatella Cogoni , Università degli Studi di Cagliari , Italy

Bruno Colas , AgroParisTech, Université Paris Saclay, France

Steve Colombo , Ontario Forest Research Institute , Canada

Lucy Commander , ANPC Translocation Guidelines , Australia

Jonathan Cornelius , World Agroforestry Centre , Peru

Brian Cypher , California State University-Stanislaus , USA

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Sarah Dalrymple , Liverpool John Moores University , UK

Rebecca Dillon , Dept. Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, WA , Australia

David Draper, Centro de Ecologia, Evolução e Alterações Ambientais (CE3C - Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes) , Portugal

Matthew Duveneck , Portland State University, Portland Oregon , USA

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Philip Esseen , Chester Zoo , UK

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Donald Falk , University of Arizona , USA

Aron Fazekas , The Arboretum, University of Guelph , Canada

Giuseppe Fenu , Università degli Studi di Cagliari , Italy

Aline Finger , Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh , UK

Wendy Foden , Stellenbosch University , South Africa

Margaret From , Center for Conservation & Research at Omaha Henry Dorly Zoo , USA

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Leopold Galicia , Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , Mexico

Vicki Gauthier , Sask. Ministry of Environment, Forest Service , Canada

Rodolfo Gentili , University of Milano-Bicocca , Italy

Wim Giesen , Euroconsult Mott MacDonald , The Netherlands

Sandrine Godefroid , Botanic Garden Meise , Belgium

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Uwe Hacke , University of Alberta , Canada

Maria Hällfors , University of Helsinki , Finland

Kristin Haskins , The Arboretum at Flagstaff , USA

Jenny Hawley , Plantlife , UK

Richard Hewitt , Chester Zoo , UK

Ary Hoffmann , University of Melbourne , Australia

Sebastian (Avi) Holzapfel , Department of Conservation, New Zealand

Chad Husby , Montgomery Botanical Center, Miami , USA

Marko Hyvärinen , Finnish Museum of Natural History LUOMUS , Finland

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Ines Ibanez , University of Michigan , USA

Jose Iriondo , Universidad Rey Juan Carlos , Spain

Miriam Isaac-Renton , University of Alberta , Canada

Louis Iverson , USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station , USA

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Ganesh Jaganathan , University of Shanghai for Science and Technology , China

Brett Jestrow , Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden , USA

Rebecca Jordan , CSIRO , Australia

Manfred Jusaitis , Botanic Gardens of Adelaide , Australia

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Kapua Kawelo , Oahu Army Natural Resource Program , USA

Ellie Kent, Back On Our Map, University of Cumbria, UK

Christopher Kettle , Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Rome & ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Jodie Krakowski , Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Tree Improvement & Seed Centre , Canada

J. Marty Kranabetter , BC MFLNRO Research Branch , Canada

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Emilio Laguna , CIEF-Wildlife Service, Generalitat Valenciana , Spain

Roberto Lindig-Cisneros , Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , Mexico

Steven Lipscombe, Back On Our Map, University of Cumbria, UK

Janet Lister , National Trust , UK

Hong Liu , Florida International University , USA

Peter Livingstone , Eadha Enterprises , UK

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Palle Madsen , University of Copenhagen , Denmark

Janet Marinelli , USA

Isabel Marques , University of Lisbon, Portugal

Tara Martin , University of South Queensland, University of British Columbia , Australia

Daniel McKenney , Natural Resources Canada , Canada

Guy Midgely , Stellenbosch University , South Africa

Steph Miles , Millenium Seed Bank , UK

Leonie Monks , Dept. Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, WA , Australia

Mary Myers , PEI Department of Environment, Energy & Forestry , Canada

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Scott Nielsen , University of Alberta , Canada

Gary Nielsen , Ontario Forest Gene Conservation Association , Canada

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Gregory O’Neill , BC MFLNRO Research Branch , Canada

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Brian Palik , USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station , USA

Andrew Park , University of Winnipeg , Canada

Max Paschall, Climate Adaptation Specialist, TreePhilly, USA

John Pedlar , Natural Resources Canada , Canada

Kevin Potter , NCSU Dept. of Forestry & Env. Res. , USA

Amantha Prasad , USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station , USA

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Cuauhtémoc Sáenz-Romero , Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo , Mexico

Marc Saner , University of Ottawa , Canada

Francois Sarrazin , Sorbonne Université , France

Silvio Schueler , Department of Forest Growth and Silviculture Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW) , Austria

Jane Sears , RSPB , UK

Cath Shellswell , Plantlife , UK

Patrick Shirey , University of Pittsburgh , USA

Zach St. George , USA

John Stanturf , Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia; InNovaSilva ApS, Denmark

Emily Strange , University of Leiden, Netherlands

Peter Stroh , Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland , UK

Joshua Styles , North West Rare Plants Initiative , UK

Jens-Christian Svenning, Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE), Aarhus University, Denmark

Chris Swanston , US Forest Service , USA

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Ian Taylor , Natural England , UK

Evert Thomas , Bioversity International, Regional Office for the Americas, Cali , Colombia

Clare Trivedi , Millenium Seed Bank , UK

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Susana Wadgymar , University of Toronto Dept. of Ecology & Evol. Biol. , Canada

Tongli Wang , University of British Columbia , Canada

Arthur Weis , University of Toronto Dept. of Ecology & Evol. Biol. , Canada

Tim Wilkins , Natural England , UK

Richard Winder , Natural Resources Canada , Canada

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Wen Xiangying , South China Botanical Garden , China

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Heather Zurbrigg , Forest Gene Conservation Association , Canada

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