The Mediterranean plant collections of the Botanical Garden provide excellent materials for botanical research studies linked to many different disciplines. The principal scientific studies that bring together botanical institutions with the Botanical Garden of Barcelona are aimed at obtaining information to help resolve questions regarding plant conservation: studies of reproductive biology, analyses of genetic diversity, population dynamics, studies of physiology, etc.
The nurseries and greenhouses of the Garden are used to cultivate and maintain plants of scientific and educational interest. These cultivated plants are then introduced into the exhibition spaces, amongst which the rock crevice communities are of particular interest, as they harbour many endangered species. By this means, the Botanical Garden raises visitors’ awareness about the importance of plants and of conserving the environment. Moreover, the information provided includes details about the conservation of endangered species in Catalonia, as well as descriptions of ongoing projects and the results obtained from them.
The SEMCLIMED Project, which is included within the INTERREG IIIB MEDOCC Community programme, proposes a series of actions whose aim is to evaluate the effects of the new environmental conditions generated by climate change on the flora of the Mediterranean basin. It is an example of inter-regional collaboration for the conservation of flora as it also aims to reinforce the networks between botanical centres of the western Mediterranean territory (France, Spain, Greece and Italy) to improve and transfer information in the conservation field, while cooperating with those of the southern Mediterranean shores (Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt).
The SEMCLIMED project is based on five main activities, and the Botanical Garden of Barcelona and its Seeds Bank collaborate in three of them.
The first activity studies the impact of future climate conditions on the germination behaviour of some species from the Mediterranean basin, while simulating in the germination chamber different temperature and lighting conditions.
The conservation of the flora of northern Africa, due to its vulnerability and fragility in the face of environmental changes, is the second important activity being carried out and here we are working closely by directing the seed collection campaigns in Morocco and helping the creation of the first seed bank in Morocco, at the Scientific Institute of Rabat.
Finally, we are also participating in a third activity of living collections of rare and endangered plants, in other words, in the constitution of a micro-habitat, specifically a rock face, a suitable place for exhibiting the rocky species that abound in the Mediterranean regions.
The Seminum Index is an annual seeds catalog available for exchange between gardens.
Every year from different gardens of the world a list of available seeds is made for exchange between them.
The seeds are offered free of charge solely for research, testing, education and development of collections.