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Discovering and recording biodiversity

Safeguarding plant life

National Botanic Garden of Belgium

Understanding ecosystems

(Re)connecting plants and people

Inspiring and informing

Bringing our heritage to life

Organisation

Facts and figures

Annual Report

2012

National Botanic Garden of Belgium

Annual Report

2012

Contents

Discovering and recording biodiversity

15

Safeguarding plant life

21

Understanding ecosystems

25

(Re)connecting plants and people

31

Inspiring and informing

37

Bringing our heritage to life

43

Organisation

49

Facts and figures

Foreword

The importance of botanic gardens in general and the National Botanic Garden of Belgium in particular, is set to increase in the coming decade. Worldwide 30% of all plant species are considered endangered by extinction. This potential massive loss in biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide also places humans in peril. This is especially true in developing countries such as DR Congo where the Garden has strong and historical links. A solid scientific knowledge of plants is crucial to utilise the biodiversity of our planet in a sustainable and equitable way. To be fully prepared for these new challenges, the Garden initiated, in 2012, an evaluation of its current activities and is working on a new strategic plan, aligned to different programs of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. In many aspects, 2012 was an important year for our Garden. But one event will particularly influence our future. On the 7th of December the Belgian federated entities publicly announced their agreement to transfer the Garden from federal control to the Flemish community, concluding over a decade of negotiations. In the most likely scenario, the Garden will be transferred on January 1st 2014, with respect for all collaborators and the international character of the institute and its scientific collections. It was heart-warming that the negotiations regarding the transfer were undertaken in a positive atmosphere and that several concerns of the Garden were taken seriously by the policy makers. The newly proposed structures form a good basis to further develop the scientific and touristic potential of one of the largest botanical gardens in the world. The end of institutional uncertainty is timely and safeguards a number of internationally significant collections. These are

meticulously cared for by technical, horticultural and scientific staff and studied by researchers worldwide. Throughout this Annual Report, you will discover some of the Gardens highlights of 2012. They demonstrate the Gardens exemplary pathway to better understand, document and safeguard plant and fungal diversity. You will also discover the diverse range of subjects conducted by the Gardens staff. For example, from how unicellular algae are used to monitor water quality in Belgian rivers to the attraction of the site to tourists who have the opportunity to learn about plants in their daily lives and glimpse the worlds botanical diversity on which all life depends. I trust this report will inspire the reader to visit our Garden, just beyond Europes capital, and discover its riches.

Steven Dessein Acting Director General

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At present the total number of plant species on our planet remains unknown. Many remain to be discovered, especially in the tropics and in certain groups like fungi and algae. This represents a serious scientific deficit, since species are the fundamental building blocks of ecosystems and knowing them is essential to our understanding of how our living planet works. Discovering, describing, naming and classifying species is at the core of our scientific research. Our taxonomists combine classic methods, such as morphology, histology and anatomy with modern techniques including scanning electron microscopy, digital imaging and DNA barcoding. The result aims to be a globally accepted, stable and scientific ordering of all life forms in a system that reflects their evolutionary origin. The taxonomic data and identification tools, such as floras, developed by our specialists are crucial for many other fields of research and for commercial purposes.

Discovering and recording biodiversity

New to science
The core business of taxonomists is to describe new species to science. In 2012, the descriptions of two fungi, six lichens, 35 diatoms, and three new representatives of the Rubiaceae were published by our staff. The genus Crinipellis was revised and a monograph of African species was published in the series Fungus Flora of Tropical Africa edited by the Garden. In tropical Africa 18 species are known, two of them were recently collected and described by our staff: Crinipellis ochracea Antonn & De Kesel and Crinipellis beninensis Antonn & De Kesel, both saprotrophic and growing on twigs in the dense semi-deciduous forests of southern Benin. Five species of lichens were newly described from El Hierro, the smallest of the seven main islands of the Canary Archipelago. One of them, Trinathotrema hierrense Ertz & van den Boom, is characterised by a very rare combination of spore characters. The high number of novelties reported by our staff in 2012 indicates that the lichen diversity is exceedingly under-recorded on this island. Among the newly described diatom taxa is Tursiocola podocnemicola Wetzel, Van de Vijver & Ector, an unusual diatom living on the carapaces of freshwater turtles in the Rio Negro, Brazil. The species is the only freshwater representative of a marine genus known up to now to live exclusively on skins of larger whales. The discovery of new Rubiaceae in tropical Africa still remains a research priority for our staff: the endemic Chassalia magnificens O.Lachenaud from montane forests in DR Congo, the endangered Psychotria torrenticola O.Lachenaud & Sn from Cameroon, and Multidentia saxicola O.Lachenaud & Sn were described in 2012. A new species Craterispermum deblockianum Taedoumg & Hamon, was named after one of the specialists of the coffee family of our Garden, Petra De Block, as a tribute for her important contribution to the knowledge of the African Rubiaceae.

Illustration of Craterispermum deblockianum, drawn by A. Fernandez

The freshwater turtle Podocnemis erythrocephala, type habitat for the diatom Tursiocola podocnemicola (inset picture)

Timeline

18/02-22/04
Exhibition: Animals and plants from a cold paradise

The Acanthaceae of Central Africa


The Acanthaceae plant family mostly comprises herbs and twining vines from tropical regions. Acanthus mollis (Bears Breeches), Hypoestes phyllostachya (Polka Dot Plant) and Thunbergia alata (Black-Eyed Susan, see photo) are examples of ornamental species. In 2012, the data concerning the entire collection of herbarium specimens from the DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, which amounts to more than 12,000 specimens, was entered into the Gardens database. Each specimen had associated information added, such as taxanomic identification, name of collector, collection number, date and locality, habitat, description, local name, and use. Despite more than 350 species found in the studied area (about a seventh occurring nowhere else on Earth), no flora of the family has been published and identification is currently only possible through direct comparisons with reference material or with the help of experienced people in the regions flora. The assembled data contributes to a manuscript being prepared by one of our institutes scientific collaborators, and allows us to chart a more detailed geographical distribution for each species. A flora dedicated to the Acanthace of Central Africa is anticipated in the near future.

Team at work, Belgian Lorraine Fouches-Vance

Intertwined destinies: rare plants from fens and bogs and their pollinators
Fens and bogs are home to a high diversity of plants. In Belgium the area of these habitats has been considerably reduced and fragmented, accompanied by the decline of plant species they contain. Many depend on insects for pollination and gene dispersal. But pollinators also depend on their host plants, and if habitats are fragmented, which would suffer first: plants or pollinators? This was the question posed in a collaborative research project between our Garden, Universit catholique de Louvain and Universit de Mons. The study was funded by Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique. Four rare plant species (Marsh Cinquefoil (Comarum palustre), Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata), Bog Bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) and Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos)) from fens and bogs and their pollinators were studied in Plateau des Tailles and Belgian Lorraine. We have shown that in these fragmented landscapes, pollinator and pollen movements are absent between populations, even at distances less than one kilometre. Moreover, it appears that pollinator decline precedes the decline of their host plant species. The decrease in pollinators may result in disruption of pollination processes in small or isolated populations, thus accelerating genetic isolation. The long-term persistence of plant populations in bogs and fens not only requires reconnecting populations (by enlarging surfaces or by the development of biological corridors that facilitate pollinator dispersal), but also by the implementation of management measures favouring pollinator guilds.

A cultivated specimen of Thunbergia alata

25/03
Visit of His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani of Thailand

6/04-15/04
Bonsai exhibition: Giant trees in your pocket

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DNA as a key to understand plant diversity


The macro-molecular laboratory is one of the least-understood parts of the garden. The general public is usually bewildered by a DNA-lab and how it is used. The use of DNA is a powerful tool used in addition to the traditional methods of observation (e.g. leaf and flower morphology). Researching DNA allows us to study the genetic blue-print of proteins that are present in all plant material. The art of studying DNA is looking at the specific parts of DNA that contain the right information for the study. These can be used for a wide range of uses including: studying family relationships; creation of genetic evolutionary trees; investigation into theories on evolutionary processes; evaluation of genomic diversity within species to maximise conservation effort; reinforcing or verifying traditional taxonomic data based on morphology. Comparative statistical studies based on differences in DNA are an important asset to taxonomy, because the information in DNA is less ambiguous than traditional methods. For instance, morphology of a particular plant may be variable depending on its environment, yet the plants DNA remains constant. The Gardens molecular laboratory conducts work on fungi (e.g. Agaricales, Boletales, Laboulbeniales); flowering plants (e.g. Rubiaceae) and lichens along with specific projects on a few important groups (e.g. Apium, Lophocolea). During 2012 1,500 DNA-sequences were obtained helping scientists to piece together the rich complexities of life.

Timeline

19/04-20/04
Recording of scenes for the movie Lcume des jours in the Garden

Developing digital atlas for the Belgian Flora


In 2012, the IFBL data portal came online: this website located on the Belgian Biodiversity Portal comprises maps of the distribution data of the wild flora (indigenous species, archeophytes and naturalised aliens) of Belgium. The database contains the Belgian IFBL Flora checklists developed from data digitalised during two projects funded by the Belgian Science Policy, together with the Florabank of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region. Available at http://projects.biodiversity.be/ifbl All 6300 flora checklists for Wallonia for the period 1972-1991 were scanned and are in the process of being made digital, thanks to financial support of the Walloon Region (DEMNA). These records will enlarge the database and increase knowledge contributing to the Atlas of the Flora of Wallonia.

Upper: pollen grains of Glechoma hederacea Lower: pollen grains of Hedyotis tetrangularis

Pollen: miniscule troublemakers or taxonomic markers?


In 2012, pollen grains were studied for about hundred species of the coffee family in collaboration with the Old Dominion University of the USA. The purpose was to better delineate characteristics of species and genera within the HedyotisOldenlandia complex. When you mention pollen, the most common reaction includes: those things that give me hay fever Yes, those things! But pollen is also one of the most wonderful creations of nature. A pollen grain is essentially the carrier of the sperm cells of a seed plant. It is produced by the stamens of flowers and transfers genetic information from one plant to another to make a seed that contains genetic information from both plants. Pollen can be transferred between flowers in several ways. Some plants hire insects or mammals to aid this transfer in exchange for nectar. Others have pollen that is small and light and carried between plants by the wind, but unfortunately we also breathe this pollen causing unpleasant reactions from our immune system. Due to the transportation mechanism pollen can be very varied. It comes in all shapes and sizes, from 5m up to 100m (1m= 1 thousandth of a millimetre). In our study it has been demonstrated that several genera and species of our study group can be identified by their pollen grains only. It will help our American colleagues to understand the evolution of their study group and to better characterise the species.

IFBL website showing a map with the observations of Acorus calamus (697 observations)

11/05
Release of geckos in the greenhouses

12/05-28/10
Exhibition Flashed along the roadside

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Building a digital picture image library for wild beans


The ambitious and dedicated work of photographing our conservation collections has begun. Some of the most important collections are stored in the Gardens seed bank. Amongst these is the globally important wild bean collection. During 2012, work began to develop a high-resolution image catalogue of this collection and make it accessible on the internet. A total of 1,720 images have been captured of seed material and is now available through our online database. The collection of wild beans, chiefly Phaseolus and Vigna species have great international importance. Both genera encompass several grain legumes species of importance for human food with the most cultivated types being Common Bean and Cowpea. Beans are a very important source of protein and as a result have huge benefits to human health. Due to the degradation of natural habitats and predicted effects of climate change, however, their protection and conservation is essential for ensuring food security for future generations. Thus ex situ conservation on a long-term basis is a useful complementary tool as part of an integrated global strategy for their off-site protection. The collection at Meise encompasses a wide genetic diversity comprising 1886 accessions represented by 225 taxa from 92 different countries. The genera Phaseolus and Vigna, respectively, total 41 (712 accessions) and 67 species (978 accessions). The majority of accessions are of wild origin and termed crop wild relatives. The importance of these crop wild relatives for improving agricultural production is well known. The collection of wild beans and associated images can be found by visiting: www.br.fgov.be/RESEARCH/COLLECTIONS/ LIVING/PHASEOLUS/

Swift start for European Journal of Taxonomy


The European Journal of Taxonomy (EJT) is a fully electronic, peer-reviewed, web-based journal on descriptive taxonomy in zoology, entomology, botany and palaeontology. It is published by a consortium of European natural history institutions (including our Garden) which funds this modern, fully openaccess publication platform. The scope of the journal is global, with an emphasis on research involving collections at European institutions. The publishing policy of this online journal matches all the newest requirements related to web-based taxonomic publishing, requested by international codes of nomenclature and is fully open access (free of charge). In 2012, 968 pages were published (30 papers), including 10 papers of more than 30 pages each. EJT aims to increase the number of papers published (including monographs of 50 or more pages), and rapidity of publication (for 2012, 4 months in average between submission and publication). The entire submission and review process is now handled in Editorial Manager, a professional and user-friendly platform. The next steps will be to implement new technical tools in order to produce interactive versions of the papers (using HTML and XML formats), making the journal more attractive to authors and readers.

Seeds of wild and cultivated beans

Timeline

International Diatom Symposium (IDS2012) in Ghent


In August 2012, the National Botanic Garden of Belgium organised, in close collaboration with the Laboratory of Protistology & Aquatic Ecology (Ghent University), the 22nd International Diatom Symposium. Diatoms are hugely important primary producers in the worlds oceans, lakes and rivers. How they have risen to such prominence in aquatic ecosystems and why they are so diverse, still remains a mystery. Significant progress in our understanding of their diversity, evolution and ecology can only occur from an integrated approach between various disciplines in diatom research. Every two years, the scientific diatom community gathers to network, discuss and share ideas on a wide range of research themes these include: DNA barcoding; biodiversity & biogeography; ecology and physiology; ecotoxicology; evolution and phylogeny; fossils; molecular biology; morphology; paleoecology; taxonomy and water quality. The 2012 symposium, hosted in Ghent, was attended by more than 220 participants from more than 35 countries, resulting in 97 oral presentations and over 130 posters. Keynote lectures by nine eminent diatom researchers highlighted new trends and opportunities in contemporary diatom science, helping to focus future effort.

First impact factor for Plant Ecology and Evolution


After its launch in 2010, it is now possible to assess the success of our peer-reviewed journal Plant Ecology and Evolution. In July, the journal received its first Impact Factor: 1.167 (Thomson Reuters 2011). There was increased interest in our journal following this rating. In August, there were more than 5,000 views for abstracts of our papers on the publishing website Ingentaconnect, compared to the usual 1,000-2,000 views each month. On the worlds largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature Scopus, it is possible to review the number of cited papers for a particular journal. In the case of Plant Ecology and Evolution, we looked at our top ten cited papers. From these, four were on taxonomy and two on phylogeny. Our most cited paper is a classical herbarium taxonomic revision of a genus of Leguminosae published in 2010 (twelve citations). It is now evident that our journal is becoming a reference in the scientific community for ecological and taxonomic papers focusing on Central Africa. The number of submissions remained constant in 2012 (95 submissions), but we received several manuscripts of high quality which allows us to hope for more citations in the future. In 2012, we published 432 pages, using our publishing budget capacity to its maximum. We aim to keep the high technical and editorial quality of the journal and to expand our international editorial board.

18/05
First international Fascination of Plants Day

27/05
Botanical recital in collaboration with choir Helicante

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It is estimated that up to one third of plant species are currently threatened or face extinction in the wild, mainly due to habitat fragmentation and destruction, combined with climate change. Every plant has a crucial role in a healthy functioning ecosystem. Some may hold unknown treasures such as molecules with helpful medicinal properties. Therefore, the safeguarding of plant species is essential. Our research contributes to the development of tools for in situ conservation in valuable natural sites both nationally and internationally. Off-site or exsitu conservation is equally important. We collect plant material from the wild for preservation and propagation in our living collections, and in the collections of partner botanic gardens. Our seed bank holds the seeds of many rare and endangered species, thus safeguarding critical genetic variation. In combining our expertise and collections we are able to assist with the reintroduction of species in natural habitats both now and into the future.

Safeguarding plant life

More than 100 orchid specimens were confiscated at the Belgian borders and transferred to the Garden for conservation

Orchids confiscated at the border get a second life in our Garden


To prevent the extinction of wild animals and plants by international trade, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulates their export and import. Species listed by CITES are those where commercial exploitation would increase their vulnerability in the wild. In these cases, plant material travelling between country borders must be accompanied with the correct legal. Listed plants crossing the Belgian border without documents are confiscated and transferred to our Garden for study and conservation. In 2012, 240 specimens were transferred to the Garden. The largest confiscated shipment included 185 orchid specimens including several Chiloschista and Habenaria species. Chiloschista is native to Southeast Asia and are remarkable, as they often appear leafless, being composed principally of aerial roots equipped with photosynthetic cells. They flower abundantly. Habenaria species are rarely found in living collections. They have underground root tubers from where annual flowering stems develop. They are often difficult to cultivate, but once flowering, have a wide range of colours and shapes depending on the species. Our gardeners will take care of these plants and show them to the public when in flower.

Timeline

24/06 Photoshoot: Your baby on a waterlily

The National Botanic Garden of Belgium, a refuge for succulent plants


Succulent plants have always been a very popular collectors item for plant lovers worldwide. During the last century amateurs and specialists gathered extensive and valuable private collections. For those species that are currently critically endangered or extinct in the wild, these historic collections constitute a last opportunity for ex situ conservation and scientific research. Survival of these private collections, and associated material, is no longer guaranteed. This is due to the aging of enthusiasts, increasing heating costs and the changing perception of such collections. Our Garden is therefore acting as a safe house for the most interesting and valuable specimens in need of new accommodation. This is especially important for welldocumented specimens of known wild origin. Consequently, over the last 15 months the Garden has received a great range of important taxa. These include: 271 specimens (170 taxa) from a scientific collection of succulent Euphorbias collected by Wilbert Hetterscheid (Von Gimborn Arboretum, The Netherlands); a 310 specimen (205 taxa) collection of succulents originating from the lateJames Richard Pennington (Dick) van Hoey Smith (Trompenburg Arboretum, The Netherlands); 1,028 specimens (357 taxa) of interesting Cactaceae of the late Eduard Van Hoofstadt (Cactussen & Vetplanten) and 84 intriguing succulent species from Jaap Keijzer and Rikus van Veldhuisen (International Euphorbia Society, The Netherlands). Our specialists in collaboration with international experts now study these collections in order to critically verify the identifications so they are of greater value for scientists worldwide. Besides safeguarding these collections as they are, we concentrate at the reproduction of several critically endangered species of succulent Euphorbias originating from Madagascar, such as Euphorbia lophogona and E. guillemetii. In order to maximise the survival chances of these species, plant material of well-documented accessions is exchanged with the International Euphorbia Society and other botanic gardens.

Above: some Cactaceae of the E. Van Hoofstadt collection Left: Euphorbia sakarahaensis

26/06 Visit of the Minister for the Environment, Conservation and Tourism of DR Congo, Mr. Bavon NSA MPUTU ELIMA

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Pioneering study shows encouraging results for the ex situ conservation of endemic species from Katanga (DR Congo)
The Katanga Copper Belt in the DR Congo is an area consisting of hills with extremely high levels of surface copper. This provides a specialised habitat for any plant colonising the area. The Copper Belt is recognised as a hotspot for metallophyte species with more than 600 species occurring in this area of which 30 are endemic. However, the flora of metalliferous soils is threatened by mining activities. The seedbank of our Garden is responsible for the long-term conservation of collected seeds and undertakes germination tests and develops protocols. Recent results show that most species have retained their viability after two years of storage at 5% seed moisture content at -20C. This study revealed for the first time that ex situ seed banking of the Katangan copper flora is a worthwhile endeavour that forms an important element of a more comprehensive conservation strategy. The work conducted by the Garden is part of a unique conservation project, launched in 2007, by scientists from a range of institutions (i.e. University of Lige Gembloux AgroBio Tech, University of Brussels, University of Lubumbashi, National Botanic Garden of Belgium) supported by the mining company, Tenke Fungurume Mining SARL. The project combines in situ and ex situ conservation and involves seed collection and banking, ecosystem reconstruction, species translocations and protected area designation. Plants of the Copper Belt represent a valuable phytogenetic resource for re-vegetation programs, for the phyto-stabilisation and for the remediation of heavy metal pollutions.

Aeollanthus saxatilis (Lamiaceae) flowering at the nursery

Tomentose seeds of Barleria lobeliodes (Acanthaceae)

Timeline

01/07 Opening of new discovery route

Wollemia nobilis, a very rare conifer originating from SE Australia, survives cold winters in the outdoor collections protected by bubble wrap

Growing half-hardy plants in the Belgian climate


Growing half-hardy woody plants has been a major activity in our botanic garden for 30 years. During this long period many trees and shrubs from milder climates have been introduced and grown in the outdoor collections. Among the 3,000 introduced accessions (1,400 taxa), 1,300 (900 taxa) have survived outdoors. A large range of plants from slightly vulnerable trees to tender shrubs have been tested against the climate. Many have proved hardier than expected and some first introduced to Belgium at our Garden. Carefully choosing a suitable location for each individual is essential: some prefer planting under the canopy of trees with filtered sunlight or surrounded by a screen of evergreens that provide shelter from cold easterly winds. Others need full sunlight during summer to harden tender shoots before winter. For our most vulnerable specimens some winter protection is given. The roots and base of the plants are covered with a thick layer of dead leaves. The more susceptible taxa are completely covered with bubble wrap thus insulating them against the coldest periods. The sight in winter may be a bit odd but provides an opportunity for our visitors to learn how to grow half-hardy plants. For years many observations on frost damage have been made and pictures have been taken. Such information is not only crucial for developing the best conservation strategy but it is also useful for determining susceptible species in a widely accepted changing climate. Expertise and knowledge in this research area has been put at the disposal of the nursery trade and other botanical collection holders through the Dendrological Notes published yearly in the Yearbook of the Belgian Dendrology Society.

21/08 Google Streetview in the National Botanic Garden of Belgium

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In a world increasingly under environmental pressure, plants, ecosystems and the services they provide need to be maintained to keep the planet healthy. Amongst other things they mitigate the effects of greenhouse gasses, play an important role in the global water cycle, and help combat desertification. The work of our researchers helps us understand how ecosystems function, and how they can be described and monitored. They also investigate invasive species that influence native species. Throughout the world, in Africa as in Belgium, humankind is fully dependent on healthy ecosystems.

Understanding ecosystems

Cholera: prediction through phytoplankton?


Cholera is a major danger to human health. From the 1970s outbreaks have reappeared in the African Rift area. During the same period strong indicators of climate change have been recorded in Lake Tanganyika. Cross analyses of environmental and epidemiological data unexpectedly highlighted simultaneous blooms of phytoplankton and outbreaks of cholera. The National Botanic Garden of Belgium, as partner in the CHOLTIC (Cholera Outbreaks at Lake Tanganyika Induced by Climate Change?) project (financed by the Belgian Science Policy), is studying phytoplankton dynamics in Lake Tanganyika at Uvira and Kalemie (Democratic Republic of the Congo), and Mpulungu (Zambia) in relation to environmental conditions. Inter-annual variation in major algal groups as well as in species composition, are studied on a weekly basis. The project aims to determine if phytoplankton blooms can act as an early-warning system for Cholera outbreaks in the area of Lake Tanganyika. Satellite images can provide useful information on the abundance of phytoplankton blooms, but does not provide information of specific species that might act as early indicators. The first results show that Woloszynskia sp. (Dinophyta), Nitzschia asterionelloides (Diatoms) and Aphanothece clathrata (Cyanobacteria) are some examples of algae blooming in the water-column of the lake.

Above: Woloszynskia sp. (Dinophyta) from Lake Tanganyika Left: Demonstration of algal sampling to Congolese students of the University of Kisangani

Timeline

Using diatoms for monitoring water quality


Water is one of the most precious resources in the world. Good quality is vital for the survival of life on earth. Determining quality in a correct, simple and straightforward way is a key research topic for biologists. Diatoms, unicellular siliceous algae, are one of the dominant organisms in freshwater environments. Their huge diversity and their specific ecological niche preferences make them powerful bio-indicators of their habitat. Populations of diatoms respond quickly to changes in nutrient, salinity or acidity levels in the water body. Consequently, analysis of the diatom community at any one time provides a good indication of water quality. For several years, the algologists of the Garden have been involved in projects that utilise diatoms to assess water quality. In addition to routine analyses of the water quality of Flemish rivers (performed for the Vlaamse Milieu Maatschappij, VMM), our scientists are developing identification tools to facilitate the use of diatoms as bio-indicators. In collaboration with scientists from Senegal, the DR Congo and South Africa, the diatom floras of Senegal and the Congo Basin are being surveyed and a bio-monitoring system for African rivers is being developed. Closer to home, a new diatom guidebook is currently being assembled for Swedish rivers to aid future bio-monitoring. This work has resulted in the description of several species new to science.

Photographing fungi in the forest plots of Yangambi

Lichens are excellent bio-indicators of anthropogenic disturbances in tropical forests


The National Botanic Garden of Belgium, together with several other Belgian and African institutes are working on a multidisciplinary project COBIMFO, sponsored by the Belgian Science Policy. The project investigates the relationship between biodiversity and carbon stored in forests of the Yangambi Biosphere Reserve situated in the Tshopo district of the DR Congo. In 2012, nine 1ha forest plots were intensively surveyed to assess baseline biological diversity. This included collecting: over 1000 leaves with foliicolous lichens attached; 721 lichen specimens, and 111 edible mushroom specimens. Incredibly, the leaves of the plant species, Scaphopethalum thonneri, yielded 84 different taxa of foliicolous lichens and 10 lichenicolous fungi, of which two were new to science. The investigation of the leaves of other plant species and the stem of the trees will surely yield more new lichen species. Statistic analyses indicate a significant correlation between foliicolous lichen diversity and the distance from the nearest road. Foliicolous lichens seem therefore to have a high potential to be used as bio-indicators to measure the degree of disturbance of a tropical forest plot.

08/09-02/12 Photography exhibition: Autumn Leaves

08/09 Opening new visitor trail: Autumn colours

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Everywhere on the planet specific plant and fungi species have provided local populations with food, energy, materials for housing and tools, fibres for clothing and medicines. In many parts of the world plants remain the primary elements in fighting hunger, disease and extreme poverty. Plants also often figure in cultural expressions and religion. Nowadays cultural plant knowledge is being lost and with it the vital connections we have with plants and fungi. Our researchers record how plants and fungi are used so that this knowledge can be shared and distributed. Our scientists ability to identify plants, even from tiny or ancient remains, contributes to fields as diverse as forensic investigation and archaeology, thus constantly identifying and establishing links between plants and people.

(Re)connecting plants & people

Introducing biodiversity and ecosystemservices to the federal administration


To achieve a greater awareness and clearer definition of biodiversity and ecosystem services across key sectors of the Belgian federal administration the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment called for a series of courses to be developed. The Garden was asked to collaborate on this with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural History and the environmental consultancy group Factor X. Four sectors of the Belgian governmental administration were selected as initial targets: railway staff from the NMBS group; members of the general direction of maritime transport; EcoManagement and Audit Scheme officers; civil servants of the FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-Employed and Energy. The Garden was called upon for its expertise in botanical diversity, communication and knowledge of invasive plants, and took the lead in creating the railway module. The resulting courses targeted issues and actions that can be taken in specific working environments and from different perspectives. Various learning tools were created depending on the needs of each particular group, these included: games; presentations; testcases; and storytelling exercises. In total, 17 sessions in Dutch and French were given, and all participants received course materials. On average the participants rated the course 3.9 out of 5. In 2013, a follow-up evaluation is planned.

Assisting the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain
The production and commercialisation of foods or dietary supplements composed of or containing plants is regulated by the Royal Decree of 29 August 1997. The Annex to this decree includes three lists of plants: 1) plants forbidden in foods; 2) edible mushrooms; 3) plants allowed in foods or dietary supplements. Quite often scientists of the Garden are solicited for their botanical expertise by officials of the Federal Public Service of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment. This continued to be the case in 2012 for species found in dietary supplements. The nomenclature of cultivated plants or of plants used in medicinal or dietary supplements is often very confused but a correct identification and thus a correct name is of utmost importance for food safety issues. Our specialists updated old, traditionbased names by their modern names retrieved from botanical research papers. Current botanical nomenclature started with Linnaeus in 1753. Therefore, updating plant names is very timeconsuming, since botanical literature over a period of more than 250 years needs to be consulted.

Timeline

21/09-24/09 Theater performance Plants for the soul

Identification of fungi from buildings


Among its multiple tasks, the Garden uses the expertise of its scientists to resolve practical problems submitted by official institutions or private individuals. The identification of fungi growing in buildings is a good example. The presence of such fungi can generate quarrels between neighbours, conflicts between homeowners and insurance companies and the refusal of mortgage loans by banks. They may even result in lengthy and expensive trials in court. The treatment of a fungal infestation and the costs involved vary considerably depending on the species of fungus involved. The most dreaded species is Serpula lacrymans (mrule in French or echte huiszwam in Dutch), because its treatment involves injection of fungicides in walls, and this can be very expensive. Conversely, some species can be eradicated by a simple application of bleach. It is thus important to obtain the correct identification of the fungus. Another concern related with indoor fungi is their implications to human health. Some fungal spores can generate severe allergic reactions to sensitive individuals. Certain moulds can even cause death. When a dangerous or problematic species is identified concerned individuals are warned and advised on methods of eliminating the infection.

Street trees in the city: vectors of biodiversity!


Street trees occupy an important place in our cities. Their presence contributes to improve the quality of life for the people who live and work there. Trees can also play a significant ecological role, providing food resources, as refuge and as biological corridors for plants and animals. Yet the ecological function of street trees is rarely considered when species are selected and later managed. To help address this issue the conference Street trees in the City: Vectors of biodiversity! was held. This conference, through various talks and posters, has allowed a space for the different actors such as: scientists studying urban biodiversity; public managers (communes, Region); field actors, e.g. landscape architects, nurserymen and arboriculturalists, consultants to meet, exchange experiences and participate in constructive discussion. This conference was attended by delegates from Brussels, but also from Paris, Nantes, Lille, and Montpellier. The conference was organised by Apis Bruoc Sella and the Garden, in collaboration with Bruxelles Nature, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Natagora (supported by the Brussels Region and Bruxelles-Environnement). http://www.alignement. be/

Left: Serpula lacrymans, the most dreaded fungal species in buildings

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Green Heritage Enhancement at the University of Kisangani, Faculty of Science and Agronomy
In February 2012, the National Botanic Garden of Belgium conducted an expert mission to develop green spaces at the University of Kisanganis Faculty of Science in DR Congo. This came from a request from the Faculty Dean and supported by the Reforco Programme (CIFOR/EU/ UNIKIS). Recovery and improvement of the Facultys green spaces, and more specifically the Liwsosky Botanical Garden in the heart of the campus, will have an immediate positive impact on the quality of life of faculty students. Following the success of this initial venture, the Reforco Programme decided to place its trust in the expertise of the Garden to manage the Faculty of Sciences green heritage and enhancement of activities. The topic areas include: training in technical aspects for a plant nursery and green space management; creation of a nursery in the faculty grounds for plant cultivation; rehabilitation of the botanic garden and enhancement of its recreational, educational and environmental roles with the involvement of civil society; increasing public awareness. A leaflet on the botanic garden was written and printed in June, 2012 and future brochures are planed about the remarkable plants of the facultys botanic garden and the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the region.

Aquarel of Primula elatior by O. Van de Kerckhove

Plant and fungi watercolour exhibition


The Gardens botanical illustrator, Omer Van de Kerckhove, began producing watercolours of mushrooms in 1981 as a hobby. In 1989, his skill and attention to detail gained him this prestigious position. A retrospective work of Omer Van de Kerckhove was honoured by an exhibition in 2012 by the City of Bruges in the Nature Centre of Beisbroek. The exhibited works mainly comprised of life-size watercolours of fungi and plants painted from nature. Black and white drawings of mosses were also displayed demonstrating the importance of perfectly displaying the microscopic details in scientific drawings. The exhibition included some educational works to demonstrate how a watercolor is created and how watercolour techniques have evolved over the past 35 years. Omer Van de Kerckhove has produced paintings of over 600 mushroom species, each from different material, to highlight intra-specific variation.

Timeline

19/10-09/11 Expedition to Yangambi, DR Congo

Environmental Education in the Schools of Kinshasa


In January 2012, the NGO Amis de la Nature et des Jardins (who promote teaching environmental issues to Kinshasas young) proposed a project to the Garden to develop a set of easy-to-use didactic games for distribution in schools who previously participated in environmental education. Thus both organisations joined a partnership. A monthly magazine was published and distributed to participating schools along with games and experiments for the classroom. These focused on the environment and a concise explanation of emerging issues, e.g. forests, global warming, water Evidently, schools of the DR Congo had a lack of basic equipment, such as, books, manuals, and posters illustrating environmental issues. However, teachers are enthusiastic and keen to learn about these issues. The success of this pilot project is demonstrated by increased demand from schools wishing to participate in future projects. As a follow-up to the programme previously developed, practical workshops in different schools have received support by the Garden. According to the wishes of interested schools, useful trees (moringa, mango) have been planted in playgrounds and gardens of biodiversity (French Lyce Ren Descartes) have been created by staff of the Garden and associated NGOs. Additionally in 2012, 1,000 copies of a poster about the importance of plants in everyday life was reissued and distributed in several schools in Kinshasa, Mbandaka, Kisangani, Goma and around the Virunga National Park in Eastern DR Congo.

22/09-13/10 Adventure visits of the youngsters of the Habbekrats npo

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The Garden is home to 18,000 different kinds of plant, set within 92 hectares of historical domain. It is a beautiful, diverse, green space and a source of enjoyment, wonder and inspiration tempting about 100,000 visitors per year. Using a broad spectrum of plant displays, museum artefacts, webpages, science communication tools, events, informal learning, awareness instruments and experience-based educational activities, the Garden has the potential to change peoples understanding of the importance of plants for human well-being and to emphasise the vital importance of plant conservation. Building on this understanding, the Garden can stimulate people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to act in a sustainable and responsible way.

Inspiring and informing

The Garden and the digital media


Our website received a new homepage in 2012 to make it more attractive and welcoming to the general public. In recent years, the Garden has been committed to the era of digital media and social networks, mainly utilising Facebook. Our website pages provide extensive information and communications, which complements our seasonal newsletter Musa. Audiovisual communication is another area being developed and has a promising future. Several video montages have been made highlighting the wealth of the Garden and the work of our staff. Videos are made available to social networks via our YouTube channel. Using these forms of digital media our loyal followers are kept informed in real-time about botany and the latest news and activities offered at Meise. By sharing this information the public also participates in increasing the awareness and reputation of our institute.

Annual plants collection: a wealth of flowers


In 2005, we started a collection of annual and biennial plants with a high display value. These included a large range of plants that the public would find typical (e.g. Nicotiana, Zinnia) and unusual (e.g. Abelmoschus, Callistephus, Emilia). The range has grown over the years up to 100 taxa and we now have representatives of genera that begin with letters of almost the entire alphabet. During 2012, a new and exciting display was developed in cooperation with the gardeners, who take care of this collection. The display took the form of a quadrangular layout made up of a square maze with alternating paths and flower beds. This layout allowed the public to view the plants at close range, rather than admire them from a distance, as would be the case if they were placed in a large border. The assemblage of annuals is complemented with a developing collection of non-winter hardy tuberous plants such as Canna (24 cultivars) and Dahlia (11 cultivars). All these plants have attractive flowers which are often supplemented with exquisite fruits or beautiful leaves. This splendid collection, displaying all colours of the rainbow, is a delight to all visitors. As the season progresses, seeds are harvested to help perpetuate the collection. Surplus seed is used in other garden collections (i.e. the Herbetum) or distributed to other botanical gardens through our seed exchange scheme.

Timeline

Inquire
Inquire is a three year project focusing on inquiry-based science education (IBSE). The National Botanic Garden of Belgium is one of the seventeen partners of this European project. Fourteen European botanic gardens along with Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Kings College London (UK) and the University of Bremen (Germany) are involved. Within the Inquire project, the Gardens educational service developed a 60 hour IBSE teacher training course. In September 2011, ten teachers and environmental educators joined a Pilot Course and all successfully graduated in the summer of 2012. In autumn 2012, an enthusiastic group of 30 participants joined us for a second course. These comprised: eleven primary and secondary school teachers; six educators (including two botanic garden guides); three pre-service teachers; and ten teacher trainers from Flemish University Colleges. Participants were trained to develop inquiry-based activities in the context of climate change and biodiversity with a strong emphasis on plants. In the coming years these skills and techniques will be passed on to the educators of tomorrow. The Inquire project creates a win-win situation for the Garden and formal education. Teachers not only become familiar with a new and challenging way of teaching, but also with the world of botanic gardens and scientific research. For our Garden it offers the opportunity to convince teachers of our educational strengths and to discuss how to optimally adapt our workshops to national school curriculum.

30/09 Awarding of certificates of the EU-project Inquire

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Le Jardin botanique de Bruxelles, 1826-1912: Reflet de la Belgique, enfant de lAfrique, Acadmie Royale de Belgique, Mmoire de la Classe des Sciences, Bruxelles, 2012

The Botanic Garden of Brussels: Reflection of a Changing Nation


In 2012, the French version of the book charting the history of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium from its origins to 1912 was published. The book is based on a comprehensive Ph.D. thesis defended at the Universit Libre de Bruxelles, in 2006. The story begins in 1826, when an unusual union for a botanic garden was established as a company with scientific and commercial aims. This union, however, proved inappropriate for the exploration of science. In 1870, the bourgeois that had hoped to build a Belgian equivalent to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, withdrew support: The Board incapable of financing the Garden sold it to the State. Thus the Garden became a true State institution, akin to Kew and the Museum of Paris. Yet this would not herald a serene immediate future. The Botanic Garden faced greater political and philosophical struggles that raged a country heading to more democracy. Exploration of the DR Congo was what saved the State botanists who devoted themselves to listing and describing the plants collected in the Kings African Garden. The last chapter describes how the State Botanic Garden was removed to the suburbs due to the citys development. While the Botanic Garden was a must-have for 19th Century Brussels, the 20th Century liberated Flora and Pomona from the urbanistic confines of the Capital. In this respect, the Botanic Garden reflects the changing Belgian nation.
The Herbarium, when the Garden used to be in Brussels.

Timeline

17/10 Diagnosis of a monumental beech by tree tomography

Plants for the soul


In autumn 2012, an unusual troupe descended on the Garden and installed their wagons under the trees near the Plant Palace, Le cirque vgtal had arrived. Inspired by the book loge de la Plante by Francis Hall, the French artist Lucas David had visited Meise two years earlier looking for inspiration and a partner to develop his idea of creating a botanical circus. A fruitful collaboration grew and resulted in the wonderful spectacle Ames vgtales. A group of visitors begin their normal visit; a guide welcomes them, introduces the Garden and proceeds to show several interesting plants. At a given moment a second guide appears and diverts the attention of the group. He guides them to strange deformed and contorted plants, anomalies and freaks of nature, evoking one of the aspects of an original circus. Subsequently, the group moves to part of the Plant Palace where a series of benches festooned with plants. There they witness the wordless and fascinating story of how the tree man falls in love with the moss woman.

While the tree man uses circus acrobatics, the moss woman expresses herself through techniques from the Japanese but theatre. The actors evoke the slowness of living plants but also how they move and interact with our world. Finally the visitors are invited to visit the circus camp, to sample herbal concoctions and to meet the actors and the stars of the show, the plants themselves. The performance was a success and for four consecutive nights the audience was mesmerised by this strange and fascinating hybrid between the Plant Kingdom and the magical world of circus. The show brought together theatre lovers and plant enthusiasts alike, demonstrating how collections of the Garden serve as inspiration to artists and take centre stage. To organise and communicate this unique and successful event the Garden collaborated with two cultural centres from the surrounding communities, De Zandloper from Wemmel and De Muze van Meise from Meise.

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During its long history the Garden has constantly been collecting and creating a wide range of botanical collections, living plants, books, artefacts, instruments but also buildings, glasshouses and landscapes. Many of these elements still play an active role in our current work; books and archives are consulted by researchers, historic glasshouses protect plant collections and buildings and landscapes are visited and enjoyed by our visitors. This extensive patrimony requires constant specialised care and upkeep and is an irreplaceable source to develop innovative approaches to better fulfill the mission of the Garden in a changing world.

Bringing our heritage to life

Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe (BHL-Europe)


The library of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium was involved in the BHL-Europe project to provide a free digital global library of life. Its aim was to merge digital collections on biodiversity literature across Europe making it accessible from a single online portal. This three year project (BHL-Europe) was completed in April, 2012. The Garden acted in a number of leading roles. These included: producing 50,000 pages of content focused on African and Belgian botany; writing a best practice guide; establishing policy on intellectual property rights; translating reports and documents into French; and hosting international project meetings at Meise and Tervuren. BHL-Europe reviewed and tested different approaches to online libraries based on the experiences of the 28 partners. These comprised of major natural history museums, botanic gardens and a number of other cooperating institutions. The consortium established a best practice approach and the adoption of standards and specifications for the large-scale implementation of this project. In addition to the international context networking, Meise was able to further develop links with two Belgian partners, the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences. These three organisations made up the BE-TAF consortium and enabled partners to use existing equipment at the Garden. The programme was financed within the framework of the European programme eContentplus for a 36 month period. The results can be viewed at: www.europeana.eu/portal/. BHLEurope aims to mirror BHL-Global (www.biodiversitylibrary. org/) where all data will be integrated. The contribution of the Library of the Botanical Garden was specially appreciated by the European reviewers.

Linnaeus Link Union Catalogue: an international online resource and bibliography devoted to the works of Carl Linnaeus and his students
The Linnaeus Link Project is an international collaboration between libraries with significant holdings of Linnaean material. The library of our Garden maintains a large and notable range of material. Encoding the collection of the Garden and making it available to the LLUC was a large job made possible thanks to the recruitment of a cataloguer for a few months. This culminated in the integration of over 500 of the 3,500 searchable records in the online catalogue. This reinforces the presence of the Gardens library collections on the web via www.linnaeuslink.org. The online catalogue currently includes information from 15 institutions around the world holding Linnaean material and allows a direct link to the catalogue to the different institutions. Its records include detailed bibliographic descriptions, with information on provenance and bindings. Descriptions of annotations and drawings help show the spread of Linnaeus ideas over time and also comprise of valuable new knowledge on insertions, such as printed material, dried plants and manuscript material. An updated version of the catalogue based on a platform which uses the latest technology was launched in 2012 at the Partners meeting which took place in our Garden in October. The catalogue is funded, maintained and coordinated by The Linnean Society of London.

Timeline

20/10 & 21/10 Ikebana exhibition

The National Botanic Garden of Belgium, partner in the European OpenUp! Project
European natural history collections comprise an estimated 1.5 billion objects from around the world. They cover most species described worldwide. Many are of great significance as they were collected during historic expeditions and scientific endeavours by well-known explorers and scientists such as Darwin, Linnaeus, Humboldt, and Stanley. The OpenUp! initiative aims to make these treasures available to the general public for the first time through EUROPEANA. This resource is valuable to scientists and policy makers who are able to use information for the understanding and protection of global biodiversity. This project will make available over one million high quality images, movies, animal sound files, and natural history artwork from 23 institutions from 12 European countries. Our institution has invested both time and material in providing over 50,000 high-resolution images. These cover many nomenclatural type specimens housed in our herbarium. These originate from Africa, South America and Europe. As part of the larger Global Plant Initiative (GPI) project, the number of specimens available to the EUROPEANA network will increase in number and continue to grow over the coming years. Scientists carefully select herbarium specimens to be scanned; this is followed by technical staff responsible for scanning and

Scan of the Holotype of Coffea charrieriana, a new caffeine-free coffee species in the rain forest of Cameroon

capturing the data in the central database before information is displayed on the Virtual Herbarium. Our IT team has implemented the software BioCASE to connect our image collection to the EUROPEANA network. The project started in March 2011 and will continue until February 2014. http://open-up.eu www.europeana.eu

Type specimen of Coccocypselum cordifolium collected by Wied in December 1816 in Ilheos (Brasil)

12/11 Inspecting, weighing (130 kg !) and repotting of Amorphophallus titanum

39 39

Taking care of international heritage in the herbarium of Lwiro


Situated at the base of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, the Centre de Recherche en Sciences naturelles de Lwiro includes an internationally important herbarium with ca. 15.000 reference collections of vascular plants from the region. Since April 2011, in partnership with the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, the herbarium of Lwiro has been involved in the project Global Plants Initiative (GPI) sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Within this project, important reference collections from around the world are digitised, databased and made accessible to all researchers through one of the largest botanical databases of the world. In 2012, one of our herbarium technicians trained researchers and technicians of the Lwiro herbarium for four weeks and taught them how to identify, database and scan their botanical reference collections. By the end of the year, the Lwiro herbarium successfully completed the project scanning over 1,200 specimens, including 25 nomenclatural types. In this project, the herbarium of Lwiro also took the lead in a similar project with the INERA herbarium in Mulungu, which has ca. 10,000 specimens. To date, more than 600 samples including 40 nomenclatural types have been scanned for this institute. Through this and similar projects, the Garden contributes to safeguarding and valorising international heritage that is of unique value to researchers worldwide.

Situated just outside of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, the herbarium of Lwiro contains a unique collection of herbarium specimens of the surrounding vegetation

Timeline

22/11 Start of Ecoteam

New bug squad in Plant Palace


For over a decade the National Botanic Garden of Belgium has been pursuing natural methods to combat plant pests in its glasshouses. Integrated pest management involves deploying hundreds of parasitic wasps, predatory mites and beetles to parasitise and devour pests that would otherwise distress and destroy our prized collections. The great advantage of this practice is to minimise chemical pesticides that can be harmful to beneficial organisms and to humans. Some problematic insects, however, seem impossible to control by commercially available predatory or parasitic invertebrates. Amongst the most difficult are cockroaches that feed on young plants and attack natural enemies. To address this problem we experimented with the release of the cockroaches natural predator, geckos. We selected three species of night active Asian geckos: Gekko ulikovskii, Gekko grossmanni and Gekko gecko. One year later, we can happily conclude that these vertebrate predators are succeeding in their mission and keep the population of cockroaches at a level where they do not harm our plants and natural enemies. Further, they appear happy in their new environment producing offspring leading us to hope that this method of integrated pest management will be self-sustainable.

Above: Releasing geckos in the Mabundu glasshouse, assisted by Flemish Brabant provincial deputy Jean-Pol Olbrechts Below: A male Gekko gecko or Tokeh in our Mabundu House

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Our Garden is an ever-changing organisation with about 180 members of staff, 70 volunteers and 20 guides. The domain, which covers 92 hectares, houses about 50 buildings where people work, meet and preserve plant collections. One of the challenges will be to prepare our Garden for transition. Indeed, it is absolutely essential that the Garden becomes less dependent on fossil fuels and reduces its environmental impact. Numerous responses will have to be developed on all levels of the Garden.

Organisation

The birth of the Ecoteam


Through our educational service, the National Botanic Garden of Belgium relays an educational dialogue to encourage the public to more awareness and accountability regarding current global ecological challenges including climate change, loss of biodiversity, depletion and waste of resources. It was obvious that our institute also needed to heed these messages in an exemplary way. This reflection until now has been latent in some quarters. It became apparent that staff wished to become more ecological, all we needed to do was to harness this enthusiasm to implement a comprehensive action plan to reduce environmental impacts of the Garden. In order to develop this initiative a core team of staff formed the Ecoteam. This group had its inaugural meeting in August and began to develop ways to raise the awareness of staff on these issues. It decided to initially focus on waste management. The Ecoteam increased in size to incorporate additional motivated people working at all levels and sectors of the Garden. Data was gathered and eco-mapping of the Garden was conducted. All members of staff were invited to a social event where information was given and proposals for actions suggested. A charter has been signed and actions have begun. This has included sorting bins to allow staff to sort their own waste and the implementation of new waste streams for recycling. Much remains to be done and plans are underway to continue to raise awareness and further mobilise staff. The next step is to extend these actions to visitors. Although there is a long way to go the most important element is now established: a transition process that runs through the heart of our Garden.

Ecoman will guide the Garden to a more sustainable future

Timeline

25/11 Glimpse behind the scenes on Science Day

New boilers guarantee rare plant survival and reduce carbon footprint
The National Botanic Garden of Belgium boasts an enormous central heating system to heat the tropical and sub-tropical glasshouses and the numerous buildings. Technical Services ensures the daily maintenance and continuous service of this system to safeguard many threatened plant species that would otherwise perish in our Belgian climate. 2012 was a special year for the technicians maintaining the central heating system. Working with the Federal Buildings Agency, two of our four boilers were replaced. These boilers were more than 25 years old and were deemed unreliable. The new boilers weighed eight tons a piece and would give a total capacity of 7MW. The boilers were installed during summer with successful trials during autumn. This project ensures the survival of our invaluable plant collections and reduces our energy demand as the new boilers use around 10% less fuel, thus ensuring a further reduction of our carbon footprint.

03/12 Opening of the new gardeners room

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A large amount of obsolete computers and other electronics ready for transport and recycling

Cleaning the Garden


In spring 2012, a big clean up started in our Garden. This was necessary to remove unused or broken material, collected over several years and stocked in the buildings of the garden or gathered at the waste collection site. In addition, surplus books and journals were removed. A few figures illustrate the enormity of the clear-up: 21 tons of paper; 3.8 tons of electrical equipment; 5.9 tons of metal; 357 m residual waste; and 30 m wood. Some goods, particularly books and journals, were given a second life by sending them to our African partner institutes. Other useful goods will be given to Finshop, the official second hand shop of the Belgian government. Materials that couldnt be reused were, wherever possible, recycled. In addition to the disposal of unwanted materials and waste, the waste collection site was improved in order to collect waste and separate waste items more efficiently. This will allow a better waste management in the Garden that will be further optimised in the years to come.

The Gardens cellar before and after the clean up

Timeline

07/12 Official announcement of the transfer of the Garden to the Flemish Community

Leo Vanhecke saying goodbye to colleagues during his retirement celebration

Retirement of Leo Vanhecke


Leo Vanhecke, head of the research department Spermatophytes and Pteridophytes, retired on July 1st after a long scientific career at the garden. Leo dedicated his life to the study of the Belgian flora. His interests ranged wide: European orchids; distribution patterns of Belgian plant species; aliens and neophytes; plant diversity of ditches and ponds in coastal polders; and management of fragile biotopes. Due to his great knowledge and experience he was often asked by the Belgian and Flemish governments to produce surveys, inventories or reports on topics such as biodiversity, conservation or management of reserves. More recently, he expanded his research interests in a very different direction, or, should we say, time: the identification of plants depicted on medieval wall tapestries; the identification of leaf prints on ancient amphora; and perhaps most importantly, his participation in the study of the archaeological city of Sagalassos (Turkey), in collaboration with the Catholic University of Leuven. Leo Vanhecke studied the present vegetation in the region, thereby providing a setting to understanding questions such as: What was the vegetation like 5000 years ago? How did human occupation of the region influence vegetation? Which plant species were cultivated by the inhabitants? Which plants and plant materials were used and for which purposes, e.g. food, building material, medicines, etc.? Everybody at the Garden wishes Leo well in ventures new. However, we consider ourselves lucky that, like many of our other retirees, Leo continues to work on his favourite topics as a voluntary scientific collaborator.

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Facts and figures

Finances
In 2012, the funding system for the National Botanic Garden of Belgium changed. The Legal Personality of the Garden received two donations from the Federal Government, one to cover the operational expenses, energy needs and equipment and one to cover investments in buildings and greenhouses. The budget for the personnel paid by the state remained central.

Breakdown expenses 2012 (in K)


Paying salaries of the employees is the main cost for the Garden. Energy expenses increased in 2012 with an alarming 20% due to the cold winter and spring and the rising energy prices. The investment budget was essentially used to realise some urgent renovations in and around the greenhouses and the castle.
Operational expenses K 1,167 Energy 696 Equipment 140 Investments 318 Staff and social service 7,253

Total budget and real expenses (in K)


The absolute budget was increased by 7%, but this is the result of a one-time increase of the personnel budget in order to book the payment of the salaries of December in the same year instead of in January of the next year. The real budget increased by 1.8% only, which only partially covers the inflation of 2011 (3.5%). The budget could be used almost entirely for the benefit of the garden, a situation that has not occurred for a long period.

Operational expenses

K Budget 2010 2011 2012 8,922 9,008 9,631

K Expenses 8,345 8,587 9,574

Energy Equipment Investments Sta and social service

12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 2010 2011 2012 Budget Expenses

Evolution net assets Legal Personality (in K)


The net assets of the Legal Personality, i.e. its equity minus its liabilities, further dropped in the first three months of 2012, but was then stabilised at about 270 K by transferring some of the staff paid by the Legal Personality to the state budget.
2010 Net assets 01/01/+ Balance year + Net assets 31/12/+
1.000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 2009 2010 2011 2012 Net assets

2011 689 -406 283

2012 283 -14 269

869 -180 689

Breakdown of income Legal Personality by source (K)


The income of the Legal Personality went down for the first time in three years. Two factors mainly explain this decrease: firstly the lower number of externally funded projects (mainly because there were fewer calls for proposals due to the economic crisis) and the lower number of visitors.

2010 External projects Bookshop Sales publications Ticket sales Hire and sales Service performance Other income Total income 696 99 24 223 55 41 34 1,170

2011 891 114 54 268 40 47 35 1,449

2012 530 82 40 202 56 37 56 1,002

Breakdown of expenses Legal Personality by source (K)


The number of staff paid by the Legal Personality was lower than previous years; this mainly explains the sharp decrease of expenses.
2010 Staff paid by LP Staff paid on external projects Staff bookshop and entrance Other costs bookshop Other costs LP (e.g., insurances) Total 412 671 161 62 86 1,392 2011 545 585 215 58 131 1,534 2012 206 584 238 42 70 1,140

1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 2010 2011 2012

800 700

les

op

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ns

les

rm

ok

at

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lic

ick

Bo

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600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Sta paid on LP Sta paid on external projects Sta bookshop and entrance Other costs bookshop

2010 2011 2012

sh

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io

sa

sa

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Ex

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Se rv

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Other costs LP (e.g., insurances)

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Staff breakdown per language (situation on the 1st of January of each year)
The Garden, situated in Flanders, has about 80% Dutch speaking and 20% French speaking employees. This situation has been more or less stable for over forty years.
2010
st

Personnel
Staff breakdown (situation on the 1 of January of each year)
The number of staff members (including replacement contracts) remains more or less stable. In 2012 a fair number of employees became statutory employees.
2010 Statutory scientists Statutory non-scientists Contractual scientists Contractual non-scientists Total
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Statutory scientists Statutory non-scientists Contractual scientists Contractual non-scientists 2010 2011 2012

2011 37 139 3 179

2012 36 145 4 185

French Dutch Other

38 145 5 188

160 140

2011 16 66 18 79 179

2012 14 85 16 70 185

120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2010 2011 2012 French Dutch Other

17 71 15 85 188

Age pyramid (2012)


Almost two third of the personnel is older than 40 and more than one third is older than 50. The medium age is 46. Over all, about 40% of the personnel is female, but the distribution is very uneven between services, most gardeners being male.
Female 60-+ 55-59 50-54 45-49 40-44 35-39 30-34 25-29 20-24 Total
60-+ 55-59 50-54 45-49 40-44 35-39 30-34 25-29 20-24 20 15 10 5 0 5 10 15 Female Male

Male 3 19 18 18 13 19 9 12 3 114

Total 4 33 29 31 24 29 15 17 3 185

1 14 11 13 11 10 6 5 0 71

Volunteers
In 2012, the number of volunteers dropped, mainly because recruitment of new volunteers was halted temporarily. It is expected that the number of volunteers will increase again in 2013. Volunteers contribute to all kind of activities in the Garden and their work is much appreciated by the personnel and the visitors.
2010 Number FTE
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 2010 2011 2012

Breakdown of number of visits (free-reduced-full) 2010 Free Reduced Full


60000 50000 40000 30000

2011 36,602 46,820 27,487

2012 30,913 38,215 19,484

25,988 48,973 19,257

2011 80 6
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

2012 70 5

66 5

Free Reduced Full

20000 10000 0

Number FTE

2009

2010

2011

Year Card 2010 Individual Gold Gold 1+3


2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 2010 2011 2012 Gold 1+3 Gold Individual

2011 1,382 99 353

2012 1,113 100 384

Visitors
Total number of visits
In 2012 there was a decline of 20% in the total number of visits compared to 2011. The main reason for this fallback is the absence of a flowering Titan Arum in the past year and the bad weather in March and April. There were also no main realisations in the Garden to communicate. This decline in number is present in all different visitor categories from free visitors to Year Card holders.
2010 Total number of visits
120000 110000 100000 90000 80000 70000 60000 50000 2010 2011 2012 Total number of visits

1,253 106 329

2011 110,909

2012 88,612

94,218

Compared to 2000, the start of standardised measurements with the present system, 2012 still represents a 48% rise in number of visits. It is clear however that with the present means the Garden has reached a plateau in visitor numbers.
200 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Evolution of number of visits in % from 2000

12 20 11 20 10 20 09 20 08 20 07 20 06 20 05 20 04 20 03 20 02 20 01 20 00 20

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Participation in organised educational visits


In 2012 the activities of the Educational Service, through the INQUIRE project, focused on developing new methods and contacts to attract more school visits in a formal educational context. Compared to 2011 we can see that the number of school children participating in organised educational visits more than tripled. Also the number of students in a BAMA formation more than doubled.
2010 Free visit Guided visit BAMA-module School workshop Total
3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 2010 2011 2012

2011 3,060 1,368 201 584 5,213

2012 2,771 1,091 551 1,763 6,176

2,034 1,276 187 913 4,410

Garden in the media and social networks


The Garden issued 30 (13 Dutch and 17 French) press releases in 2012. This resulted in 144 press appearances in Dutch and 125 in French, distributed across the media with a preponderance of the web based publications. The appointment of Steven Dessein as new Director ad interim in January and the announcement on the agreement concerning the administrative future of the Garden are the subjects that received the most attention in the press and on TV. The activities of the Garden are systematically listed in the agenda of the most diverse tourism websites. Our staff is consulted by the media because of their expertise on various subjects: the influence of climate, plant knowledge, and plant identification

od ul e

Fr ee vis it

uid ed

Am

BA M

Visitors Garden Shop


As to be expected the number of visitors to the Garden Shop reflects the total number of visitors.
2010 Visitors
7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 2010 2011 2012 Visitors

Sc h

oo lw

or ks ho p

vis it

2011 6,655

2012 4,729

3% 6% Radio 51% Television 40% Paper Web

5,958

Currently, 2,640 people subscribe to our digital newsletter sent out seasonally in Dutch and French.
2010 Musa subscriptions
3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 2010 2011 2012

2011 2,515

2012 2,640

2,108

Outdoors 2011 Taxa Species Accessions 7,428 4,946 10,890

Outdoors 2012 7,551 4,967 11,030

Indoors 2011 8,898 7,405 12,843

Indoors 2012 9,091 7,475 13,929

16000 14000 12000

The Gardens Facebook page was a success. 70 messages were posted in Dutch and French. The number of views (audience) and vitality (sharing posts) rose compared to the previous year. Posts were more successful when beautiful images of the park and its plants were shown. In 2012, there were 746,963 website consultations. These came from 245,106 different computers from 117 countries. Of these, the main ones included: Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Finally, in 2012 the Gardens floristic publication Dumortiera went digital. This currently has 643 subscriptions.

10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Taxa Species Accessions

Outdoors 2011 Outdoors 2012 Indoors 2011 Indoors 2012

Evolution of the acquisition of living plant material


Since a few years, the Living Collections have been continuously increased. The increment in 2012 is mainly explained by the acquisition of a very important donation of Cactaceae species, most of them not yet represented in our collections. The low percentage of material from wild source observed in 2012 translates the lack of data on provenance for this kind of donations.

Collections
Living Plant Collection
The Living Plant Collection currently includes 24,959 accessions representing 340 families, 3,006 genera, 16,642 taxa or 12,442 plant species. They are distributed between the greenhouses (56%) and the oudoor collections (44%). Most-represented plant families in the greenhouses are Cactaceae (2,404 accessions), Orchidaceae (1,823), Euphorbiaceae (937), Liliaceae (893), Rubiaceae (572), Crassulaceae (486), Araceae (475) and Agavaceae (424). In the outdoor collections, the well-represented plant families are Rosaceae (757 accessions), Ericaceae (571), Liliaceae (490), Malaceae (450) and Asteraceae (437).

2010 Cultivated Wild source Total


1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 2010 2011

2011 1,021 863 1,884

2012 1,631 528 2,159

614 818 1,495

Cultivated Wild origin

2012

55

The seizure of plant material prohibited under CITES


The quantity of plant material seized by the Belgian Customs under the CITES regulations and deposited in the living collections of the Garden varies from year to year. In 2012, 86 accessions, represententing 240 specimens, were introduced. They are the result from 12 confiscations only.
2010 CITES accessions
300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2010 2011 2012 CITES accessions

2011 69

2012 86

278

Evolution of queries entered in LIVCOL


LIVCOL is the database used for the daily management of the Living Collections and their related documentation. This database is partly accessible on the website of the Garden to the public and to scientists, curators, students, etc. In 2012, the number of queries further increased to more than 3,700.
2010 Queries LIVCOL
4000 3500

2011 3,633

2012 3,734

2,664

2010 Number of individuals


2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 2010 2011 2012

2011 105

2012 240

3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Queries LIVCOL

2,205

Number of individuals

2010

2011

2012

Distribution of living material


The number of distributed samples highly varies from year to year. In 2012, 1,664 samples were distributed, 75% of them being seed samples.
2010 Distribution material
2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 Distribution material

2010 Number of confiscations


35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2010 2011 2012

2011 18

2012 12

30

2011 1,889

2012 1,664

1,370

Number of conscations

200 0 2010 2011 2012

Mounting of specimens
The mounting of specimens is an important and timeconsuming step that allows plant collections to be conserved in the long-term. In 2012, the number of mounted specimens was back to its normal level of about 18,000 mounted specimens. Unlike 2010 and 2011, no additional personnel could be employed at the end of the year to speed up the work.
2010 Mounted specimens BT Mounted specimens SP Total
40000 35000 30000 25000 Mounted specimens SP Mounted specimens BT

Long-term seed conservation


The seed bank is as an important ex situ conservation tool to underpin the efforts carried out for in situ conservation. It allows the conservation in the long term (more than 100 years) of a very broad genetic diversity in a restricted space. In 2012, the main focus was on the elaboration of the seed bank of the indigenous flora of Belgium and of the copper plants of Katanga. In total the seed bank of the Garden currently contains generative material of 841 accessions of Belgian species collected in the wild and 536 copper plant species from Katanga. The seed collection of wild species of beans remains the most important collection with 2,144 accessions.

2011 17,000 20,191 37,191

2012 6,500 11,596 18,096

7,900 13,828 21,728

Belgian Flora 2011 2012 772 841

Copper Flora 411 536

Wild Beans 2,144 2,144

20000 15000 10000 5000 0 2010 2011 2012

24%

Belgian Flora Copper Flora


61% 15%

Databasing the collections


Herbarium specimens hold valuable information about the distribution, ecology and use of plants. By imaging and databasing the collections, this information is now in reach of many more potential users. In 2012 more than 45,000 new specimen records were created within the two departments. Almost two third of the digitised specimens originate from Africa.
2010 2011 18,159 21,880 40,039 2012 17,487 30,324 47,811

Wild Beans

2500 2000 1500 2011 1000 500 0 Belgian Flora Copper Flora Wild Beans
30000 20000 10000 0 2010 2011 2012

BT SP Total
60000 50000 40000

21,935 23,447 45,382

2012

SP BT

57

Loans and exchange program


The transfer of herbarium specimens between herbaria worldwide is an important step to facilitate botanical research. Specimens can be transferred between herbaria on a temporary basis as loans or on a permanent basis as a gift or as part of a seed specimen exchange program. 2012 was again a very busy year with high numbers for incoming exchange, incoming gifts and incoming loans.
2010 Incoming exchange Incoming gift Incoming loan Outgoing exchange Outgoing gift Outgoing loan
12000

Library Database
The number of records in our library database is growing steadily. The entire catalogue contains now more than 120,000 records and is published on-line.
2010 Articles Collections Correspondence Monographs Valuables Journals Total
60000 50000

2011 48,834 4,596 7,443 48,796 3,385 8,742 121,796

2012 49,030 4,695 7,444 49,969 3,386 8,979 123,503

2011 11,261 2,463 539 2,897 221 3,114

2012 7,892 8,591 2,391 1,655 175 1,701

3,249 9,668 595 1,426 177 2,012

48,516 4,475 7,300 47,500 3,383 8,352 119,526

10000

40000
2010

30000 20000 10000 0

8000

2011 2012

2010 2011 2012

6000

cti

co

lle

2000

0 incoming exchange incoming gift incoming loan outgoing exchange outgoing gift outgoing loan

External library consultation


The library is open for the public and welcomes about 500 external and 1,000 internal visitors a year. This number is expected to go further down in the future as botanical literature becomes more widely available on-line. The Garden therefore actively participates in several digitisation projects. The number of loans between libraries remains more or less stable.
2010 External visitors Loans between libraries
600 500 400 300 200 100 2010 2011 2012

Library acquisitions
The number of new library acquisitions dropped significantly in 2012. This has three main reasons. The first is related with the budget available for buying new monographs, which was limited because of the high energy costs. The second is due to the fact that in 2012 contrary to 2010 and 2011, only a few books were donated to the library. The third reason is that more and more journals are becoming on-line journals only.
2010 Monographs Periodical fascicles
3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Monographs Periodical fascicles

co rre

2011 504 49

jou

rn

4000

sp on da nc

on og ra ph s

va lua ble s

ar tic les

on

als

2012 457 61

494 58

2011 3,124 3,025

2012 1,035 2,733

2,238 3,000

2010 2011 2012

0 External visitors Loans between libraries

Research
Number of publications
The number of scientific contributions by members of the staff further increased. The number of poster and oral presentations almost tripled, whereas the number of published manuscripts and books decreased.

Average impact factor


The average impact factor of papers authored by staff of the Garden further increased to 2.81. It well reflects that scientists from our Garden combine basic taxonomic work, which is often published in low impact journals, with more applied research that can be published in higher ranked journals.
2010 Average IF 1.267 2011 2.21 2012 2.81

Manuscripts and book chapters 2010 2011 2012 64 114 83

Abstracts of posters or presentations 61 26 72

Other publications (reports, book reviews,) 5 18 14

Total 130 158 169

3 2,5 2 1,5 Average IF

120 100

1
80 2010 60 40 20 0 Manuscripts and book chapters Abstracts of posters or presentations Other publications (reports, book reviews,) 2011 2012

0,5 0 2010 2011 2012

Plant Ecology and Evolution


Together with the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium, the Garden has published the peer-reviewed journal Plant Ecology and Evolution since 2010. In three years, the journal received nearly 300 submissions; in average for this period, 40% of the submissions were returned to the authors because they were off topic or did not conform the guidelines. In 2012, about 19% of manuscripts accepted for review were also accepted for publication the same year, and the same percentage of manuscripts was rejected. At the end of 2012, a majority of manuscripts (nearly 62%) were still in review, mainly because more than half of them were submitted during the second semester of 2012.
Unsubmitted
2010 2011 2012

International papers with IF 2010 2011 2012


50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 International papers with IF

International or national papers without IF 25 36 45

Books or book chapters 5 31 8

Total 64 114 83

34 47 30

Rejected 10 9.4

Accepted 10 9.4

In review 32 30.2

Total 106

2012 %

54 50.9

International or national papers without IF

Books or book chapters

32

Unsubmitted
54

Rejected Accepted

10 10

In review

59

Papers published in 2012 in international peer-reviewed journals (co-)authored by staff of the garden
Antonn V. & De Kesel A. (2012) Crinipellis beninensis (Basidiomycota, Marasmiaceae), a new species from Benin (tropical Africa). Czech Mycology 64(2): 175180. Arcadia L. & Ertz D. (2012) Proposal to conserve the name Lichen vulgatus (Opegrapha vulgata) (lichenized Ascomycota) with a conserved type. Taxon 61: 462-464. (IF 2.703) Besse-Lototskaya A., Verdonschot P.M., Coste M. & Van de Vijver B. (2012) A new perspective for phytobenthos in the European Water Framework Directive. Letter to the editor. Ecological Indicators 18: 705-708. (IF 2.695) Blanco S., Van de Vijver B., Vinocur A., Mataloni G., Gom J., Novais M.H. & Ector L. (2012) Hippodonta lange-bertalotii Van de Vijver, Mataloni & Vinocur sp. nov. and related smallcelled Hippodonta taxa. Nova Hedwigia Beihefte 141: 39-52. Champluvier D. & Darbyshire I. (2012) Schaueriopsis: a new genus of Acanthaceae (Acanthoideae: Barlerieae) from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Plant Ecology and Evolution 145: 279-284. (IF 1,167) Chen J., Zhao R.L., Karunarathna S.C., Callac P., Rasp O., Bahkali A.H. & Hyde K.D. (2012) Agaricus megalosporus: A new species in section Minores. Cryptogamie, Mycologie 33: 145-155. (IF 0.754) Chown S.L., Huiskes A.H.L., Gremmen N.J.M., Lee J.E., Terauds A., Crosbie K., Frenot Y., Hughes K.A., Imura S., Kiefer K., Lebouvier M., Raymond B., Tsujimoto M., Ware C., Van de Vijver B. & Bergstrom D.M. (2012) Continentwide risk assessment for the establishment of non-indigenous species in Antarctica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Biological Science 109,13: 4938-4943. (IF 9.681) Cocquyt C., de Haan M., Jahn R. & Friedel H. (2012) Nitzschia epiphytica, N. epiphyticoides, and N. pseudepiphytica (Bacillariophyta), three small diatoms from East and Central Africa. Phycologia 51,2: 126-134. (IF 2.000) De Bie T., De Meester L., Brendonck L., Martens K., Goddeeris B., Ercken D., Hampel H., Denys L., Vanhecke L., Van der Gucht K., Van Wichelen J., Vyverman W. & Declerck S.A.J. (2012) Body size and dispersal mode as key traits determining metacommunity structure of aquatic organisms. Ecology Letters 15,7: 740-747, July 2012, article first published on line: 15.05.2012. (IF 17.557) De Kesel A., Guelly A.K. & Abalo-Loko S. (2012) Laboulbeniales (Ascomycetes) from Togo. MycoAfrica 4(3):1-5. Ertz D. & van den Boom P. (2012) Plectocarpon dirinariae (Arthoniales), a new lichenicolous species from Cape Verde. Lichenologist 44: 591-593. (IF 1.195) Faucon M.-P., Muding Tshilong B., Van Rossum F., Meerts P., Decocq G. & Mahy G. (2012) Ecology and hybridization potential of two sympatric metallophytes, the narrow endemic Crepidorhopalon perennis (Linderniaceae) and its more widespread congener C. tenuis. Biotropica 44: 454-462. (IF 2.229)

Fernndez-Carazo R., Namsaraev Z., Mano M.-J., Ertz D. & Wilmotte A. (2012) Cyanobacterial diversity for an anthropogenic impact assessment in the Sr Rondane Mountains area, Antarctica. Antarctic Science 24: 229-242. (IF 1.556) Kopalov K., Vesel J., Elster J., Nedbalov L., Komrek J. & Van de Vijver B. (2012) Benthic diatoms (Bacillariophyta) from seepages and streams on James Ross Island (NW Weddell Sea, Antarctica). Plant Ecology and Evolution 145: 190-208. (IF 1.167) Lachenaud O. & Sn O. (2012) Un nouveau Multidentia (Rubiaceae) dAfrique centrale. Plant Ecology and Evolution 145: 138-141. (IF 1,167) Lawrey J.D., Diederich P., Nelsen M.P., Freebury C., Van den Broeck D., Sikaroodi M. & Ertz D. (2012) Phylogenetic placement of lichenicolous Phoma species in the Phaeosphaeriaceae (Pleosporales, Dothideomycetes). Fungal Diversity 55,1: 195-213. (IF 4.769) Lemaire B., Janssens S., Smets E. & Dessein S. (2012) Endosymbiont transmission mode in bacterial leaf nodulation as revealed by a population genetic study of Psychotria leptophylla. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 781: 284-287. (IF 3.829) Lemaire B., Lachenaud O., Persson C., Smets E. & Dessein S. (2012) Screening for leaf-associated endophytes in the genus Psychotria (Rubiaceae). FEMS Microbiology Ecology 80: 364-372. (IF 3.408) Lemaire B., Van Oevelen S., De Block P., Verstraete B., Smets E., Prinsen E. & Dessein S. (2012, published ahead of print March 2011, doi:10.1099/ijs.0.028019-0) Identification of the bacterial endosymbionts in leaf nodules of Pavetta (Rubiaceae). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 62: 202-209. (IF 2.268) Lus A.T., Novais M.H., Van de Vijver B., Almeida S.F.P., Ferreira da Silva E., Hoffmann L. & Ector L. (2012) Pinnularia aljustrelica sp. nov. (Bacillariophyceae), a new diatom species found in acidic waters in the Aljustrel mining area (Portugal) and further observations on the taxonomy and ecology of P. acidophila Hofmann et Krammer and P. acoricola Hustedt. Fottea 12: 27-40. (IF 1.327) Mayer C., Van Rossum F. & Jacquemart A.-L. (2012) Evaluating pollen flow indicators for an insect-pollinated plant species. Basic and Applied Ecology 13: 690-697. (IF 2.669) Ndayishimiye J., Greve M., Stoffelen P., Bigendako M.J., de Cannire C., Svenning J.C. & Bogaert J. (2012) Modelling the spatial distribution of endemic Caesalpinioideae in Central Africa, a contribution to the evaluation of actual protected areas in the region. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 4,3: 118-129. Ricotta C., Bacaro G., Marignani M., Godefroid S. & Mazzoleni S. (2012) Computing diversity from dated phylogenies and taxonomic hierarchies: does it make a difference to the conclusions? Oecologia 170: 501-506. (IF 3.412) Ricotta C., Heatfield D., Godefroid S. & Mazzoleni S. (2012) The effects of habitat filtering on the phylogenetic structure

of the urban flora of Brussels (Belgium). Community Ecology 13: 97-101. (IF 1.679) Riaux-Gobin C., Compre P., Al-Handal A.Y. & Straub F. (2012) SEM survey of some small-sized Planothidium (Bacillariophyta) from coral sands off Mascarenes (Western Indian Ocean). Nova Hedwigia Beihefte 141: 295-314. Ronse A. & Braithwaite M. (2012) Seed for growing under trees: the source of wood lawn neophytes in the parkland of Scottish mansion houses. New Journal Botany 2,2: 149-154. Somme L., Raabov J., Jacquemart A.-L. & Rasp O. (2012) Development and multiplexing of microsatellite markers using pyrosequencing in the clonal plant Comarum palustre (Rosaceae). Molecular Ecology Resources 12: 91-97. (IF 3.062) Sonk B., Taedoumg H. & Robbrecht E. (2012) A reconsideration of the Lower Guinean species of Sericanthe (Rubiaceae, Coffeeae), with four new species from Cameroon and Gabon. Botanical journal of the Linnean Society 169,3: 530-554. (IF 2.821) van den Boom P.P.G. & Ertz D. (2012) Lichens and lichenicolous fungi from El Hierro (Canary Islands), a survey, including five new species. Cryptogamie, Mycologie 33: 59-97. (IF 0.754) Van de Vijver B. (2012) Aulacoseira principissa sp. nov., a new centric diatom species from the sub-Antarctic region. Phytotaxa 52: 33-42. (IF 1.797) Van de Vijver B., Chattov B., Metzeltin D. & Lebouvier M. (2012) The genus Pinnularia (Bacillariophyta) on Ile Amsterdam (TAAF, Southern Indian Ocean). Nova Hedwigia Beihefte 141: 201-236. Van de Vijver B., Ector L. & Cox E.J. (2012) Ultrastructure of Diatomella balfouriana with a discussion of septum-like structures in diatom genera. Diatom Research 27: 213-221. (IF 0.656) Van de Vijver B., Jarlman A., de Haan M. & Ector L. (2012) New and interesting diatom species (Bacillariophyceae) from Swedish rivers. Nova Hedwigia Beihefte 144: 237-255. Van de Vijver B., Tavernier I., Kellogg T.B., Gibson J.A., Verleyen E., Vyverman W. & Sabbe K. (2012) Revision of the Antarctic diatom species (Bacillariophyta) described by West & West (1911) with the description of two new species. Fottea 12: 149-169. (IF 1.327) Van de Vijver B., Verweij G.L., van der Wal J. & Mertens A. (2012) Encyonopsis neerlandica, a new freshwater diatom species (Bacillariophyta) from moorlandpools in The Netherlands. Phytotaxa 66: 43-48. (IF 1.797) Van Landuyt W., Vanhecke L. & Brosens D. (2012) Florabank1: a grid-based database on vascular plant distribution in the northern part of Belgium (Flanders and the Brussels Capital region). PhytoKeys 12: 59-67. Van Rossum F. & Triest L. (2012) Stepping-stone populations in linear landscape elements increase pollen dispersal between urban forest fragments. Plant Ecology and Evolution 145: 332-340. (IF 1.167) Van Rossum F., Vereecken N.J., Brdat E. & Michez D. (2012) Pollen dispersal and fruit production in Vaccinium oxycoccos, and comparison with its sympatric congener V. uliginosum.

Plant Biology, published online. doi:10.1111/j.14388677.2012.00646.x. (IF 2.395) Verloove F. (2012) Notes on some Cyperaceae from Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). Webbia 67,1: 93-99. Verloove F. (2012) New combinations in Cenchrus (Paniceae, Poaceae) in Europe and the Mediterranean area. Willdenowia 42: 77-78. Verloove F. (2012) Cenchrus echinatus. In: Greuter W. & Raus Th. (eds.), Med-Checklist Notulae, 31. Willdenowia 42: 293. Verloove F. & Snchez Gulln E. (2012) A taxonomic revision of non-native Cenchrus s.str. (Paniceae, Poaceae) in the Mediterranean area. Willdenowia 42: 67-75. Verloove F. & Snchez Gulln E. (2012) New records of interesting vascular plants (mainly xenophytes). Flora Mediterranea 22: 5-24. Wetzel C.E., Van de Vijver B., Cox E.J., Bicudo D. & Ector L. (2012) Tursiocola podocnemicola sp. nov., a new epizoic freshwater diatom species from the Amazon basin (Rio Negro, Brazil). Diatom Research 27: 1-8. (IF 0.656) Zhao R.L., Hyde K.D, Desjardin D.E., Rasp O., Soytong K., Guinberteau J., Karunarathna S.C. & Callac P. (2012) Agaricus flocculosipes sp. nov., a new potentially cultivatable species from the palaeotropics. Mycoscience 53: 300-311. (IF 1.212) Zidarova R., Kopalov K. & Van de Vijver B. (2012) The genus Pinnularia (Bacillariophyta) excluding the section Distantes on Livingston Island (South Shetland Islands) with the description of twelve new taxa. Phytotaxa 44: 11-37. (IF 1.797)

Papers published in 2012 in national or non peer-reviewed journals (co-)authored by staff of the garden
Bamps P. & Champluvier D. (2012) Leptoderris burudiensis Bamps & Champl. (Leguminosae - Papilionioideae - Millettieae), espce nouvelle de la dorsale Congo-Nil en rpublique dmocratique du Congo, au Rwanda et au Burundi. Lejeunia Nouv. Sr. 190: 8 p. Bnichou L., Martens K., Higley G., Grard I., Dessein S., Duin D. & Costello M.J. (2012) European Journal of Taxonomy: A public collaborative project in Open Access scholarly communication. Scholarly and Research Communication 4,1: 16 p. De Kesel A. & Gertsmans C. (2012) Distolomyces forficulae (Laboulbeniales), a common parasite on Forficula auricularia (Dermaptera). Sterbeeckia 31: 43-44. De Kesel A. & Haelewaters D. (2012) Belgian records of Laboulbeniales from aquatic insects (2) Chitonomyces aculeifer. Sterbeeckia 31: 16-18. De Meyere D. (2012) Een dendrologische reis door de bergen van Taiwan. In: Jaarboek van de Belgische Dendrologische Vereniging / Annales de la Socit Belge de Dendrologie 2011: 9-40.

61

De Meyere D. (2012) Dendrologische notities: Nationale Plantentuin, Meise. In: Jaarboek van de Belgische Dendrologische Vereniging / Annales de la Socit Belge de Dendrologie 2011: 88-91. Derboven P., Fraiture A., Ghyselinck D. & Mertens C. (2012) Une excursion printanire des plus intressantes. Bulletin de lAssociation des Mycologues Francophones de Belgique 5: 5-12. De Rycke A., Van Landuyt W. & Hoste I. (2012) Mediterrane brandnetels in Gent: Urtica pilulifera en Urtica membranacea. Dumortiera 100: 29-32. Diederich, P., Ertz D., Eichler M., Cezanne R., van den Boom P., Fischer E., Killmann D., Van den Broeck D. & Srusiaux E. (2012) New or interesting lichens and lichenicolous fungi from Belgium, Luxembourg and northern France. XIV. Bulletin de la Socit des Naturalistes Luxembourgeois 113: 95-115. Fabri R. (2012) Lawalre, Andr, Gilles, Clestin, botaniste, chef de dpartement au Jardin botanique national de Belgique, matre de confrences lUniversit catholique de Louvain, n Terwagne le 2 fvrier 1921, dcd Uccle (Bruxelles) le 18 avril 2005. Nouvelle Biographie Nationale 11: 246-248. Fraiture A. & Ertz D. (2012) Observation Vilvorde (Belgique) de Panaeolus papilionaceus var. capitatocystis. Natura Mosana 65,1: 1-4. Geerinck D. (2012) Contribution la Flore dAfrique centrale: Colchicaceae et Flagellariaceae. Taxonomania 33: 1-8. Geerinck D. (2012) Catalogue raisonn des Orchidaceae du Congo-Kinshasa: Cl dichotomique des espces de la Rgion Guino-congolaise. Taxonomania 33: 8 -30. Haelewaters D., Nuytinck J. & De Kesel A. (2012) Laboulbeniales in Nederland: een introductie. Natuurhistorisch Maandblad 101(5): 88-93. Haelewaters D., van Wielink P., van Zuijlen J.W., Verbeken A. & De Kesel A. (2012). New records of Laboulbeniales (Fungi, Ascomycota) for The Netherlands. Entomologische Berichten 72 (3): 175-183. Hoste I. (2012) Een sleutel voor het genus Oxalis in Belgi, met commentaar bij de waargenomen soorten. Dumortiera 101: 9-22. [http://www.br.fgov.be/DUMORTIERA/ DUM_101/Dum%20101_9-22_Oxalis_Hoste.pdf ] Ronse A. (2012) Drie nieuwe groeiplaatsen van Mentha pulegium (polei) in Vlaanderen. Dumortiera 100: 16-18. Ronse A. & Steeman R. (2012) Excursieverslag: Exoten in C6 (Lommel-Mol). Streepzaad Digitaal 8: 5-7. Stieperaere H. (2012) De mossen van het Kempens gedeelte van Vlaanderen, het armste en zuurste gedeelte van het Vlaams district. 1 Inleiding & 2 De mossen van het Maldegemveld. Muscillanea 32: 22-35. Van den Broeck D. (2012) Een lichenologische excursie naar de Molsbergen te Lokeren, 25 februari 2012. Muscillanea 32: 17-18. Van den Broeck D. (2012) Driemaal het natuurreservaat De Maten in de provincie Limburg. Muscillanea 32: 19-21. Van den Broeck D. (2012) Twee korstmossen met een Trentepohlia-photobiont nieuw gevonden in Vlaanderen

(Belgi). Dumortiera 101: 50. http://www.br.fgov.be/ D U M O RT I E R A / D U M _ 1 0 1 / D u m % 2 0 1 0 1 _ 5 0 _ Trentepohlia_photobiont_VDBroeck.pdf Van den Broeck D., Ertz D. & Diederich P. (2012) Lichenologisch verslag van de driedaagse in de vallei van de Ourthe (Provincie Luxembourg, Belgi) in september 2010. Muscillanea 2: 10-16. Vanderweyen A. (2012) Quelques notions sur les rouilles (I). Bulletin de lAssociation des Mycologues francophones de Belgique 5: 13-16. Vanderweyen A. & Baugne J.-Y. (2012) Prsence de Nyssopsora echinata sur Meum athamanticum en Belgique. Dumortiera 100: 33-35 + photo en couverture. Van de Vijver B., Verweij G.L., van der Wal J. & Mertens A. (2012) Encyonopsis neerlandica, a new freshwater diatom species (Bacillariophyta) from moorlandpools in The Netherlands. Diatomededelingen 36: 57-62. Vanhecke L. (2012) Transformaties van het Scheldelandschap in Bornem: nieuwe maatschappelijke functies geven nieuwe landschappen. Dumortiera 100: 36-44. Van Rossum F., Godefroid S. & Vert P. (2012) Stabilit de la vgtation du marais de Heinsch (Lorraine belge) sur trois dcennies. Dumortiera 100: 1-8. Verloove F. (2012) Drie slecht gekende taxa van het genus Calystegia (Convolvulaceae) in Belgi. Dumortiera 100: 2529. Verloove F. (2012) A revision of Bromus section Ceratochloa (Pooideae, Poaceae) in Belgium. Dumortiera 101: 30-45. Verloove F. & Heyneman G. (2012) Merkwaardige planten collecties van twee antropogene zaadbanken in Gent (OostVlaanderen, Belgi). Dumortiera 100: 19-24.

Selection of book chapters and books published in 2012 (co-)authored by staff of the Garden
Birthlmer M. & Hierschlger M. (coll. Fabri R., Hanquart N. & al.) (2012) Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe best practice guidelines and standards. Prague, BHL-E, 147 p. De Meyere D. (Editor in chief ) (2012) Belgische Dendrologie Belge 2011. Jaarboek van de Belgische Dendrologische Vereniging / Annales de la Socit Belge de Dendrologie. 181 p. Diagre D. (2012) Le Jardin Botanique de Bruxelles : 1826-1912 : Reflet de la Belgique, enfant de lAfrique. Acadmie Royale de Belgique Mmoire de la Classe des Sciences, Collection in-4. 4e Srie, vol. 1 : 296 p. Es K. & & Piesschaert F. (2012) Geophila D.Don, nom. cons. In: Davidse, G., Sousa S., M., Knapp, S. , Fernando C. & C. Ulloa Ulloa (eds.) Flora Mesoamericana Volumen 4 Parte 2 Rubiaceae a Verbenaceae. Universidad Nacional Autnomia de Mxico, Missouri Botanical Garden & The Natural History Museum (London), p. 100-102. Lambinon J. & Verloove F. (coll. Delvosalle L., Toussaint B., Geerinck D., Hoste I., Van Rossum F., Cornier B.,

Schumacker R., Vanderpoorten A. & Vannerom H, prf. Dessein S.) (2012) Nouvelle Flore de la Belgique, du GrandDuch de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des rgions voisines. Sixime dition. Edition du Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise, CXXXIX + 1195 p. Quintelier L., Deneef R., De Jaeck H., Wijnant J. & De Meyere D. (2012) Asse: Domein Waalborre. In M&L Cahier 20(2011), Historische tuinen en parken van Vlaanderen. Vlaamse Overheid, Agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed, Brussel: p. 38-41. Sabbe K., Van de Vijver B. & Vyverman W. (eds.) (2012) Twentysecond International Diatom Symposium, Aula Academica, Ghent, 26-31 August 2012 Abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication 58, 260 p. Witkowski A., Kociolek J.P. & Compre P. (eds.) (2012) Diatom taxonomy and ecology : From local discoveries to global impacts: Festschrift in honor of prof. dr. Horst Lange-Bertalots 75th birthday. Stuttgart, J. Cramer, Beihefte zur Nova Hedwigia 141, iv, 545 p.

Selection of reports presented in 2012 (co-) authored by staff of the Garden


Fraiture A., Van den Broeck D. & Ertz D. (2012) Convention dtude pour lanalyse des donnes des polypores et des lichens des placettes du rseau de suivi extensif de ltat sanitaire des cosystmes forestiers - Rapport final - Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise, 128 p. Van den Broeck D. (2012) Atlas van de epifytische korstmossen en de erop voorkomende lichenicole fungi van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest. Onderzoek in opdracht van Leefmilieu Brussel BIM. Nationale Plantentuin van Belgi, 161 p. Van den Broeck D. & Debeer D. (2012) Inventarisatie van (korst)mossen op de stuifzandrug te Heindonk (Willebroek, Belgi). Rapport 2012. Vanderborght T. (2012) List of Seeds - 2012 : sur le site internet du Jardin ladresse suivante : http://www.br.fgov. be/RESEARCH/COLLECTIONS/LIVING/INDEX_ SEMINUM/ Vanhecke L. (2012) Recommandations pour la gestion des cours deau dans la cuvette de Lampernisse. 35 slides. Voorstelling van de resultaten van het INTERREG IV-project (FranceWallonie-Vlaanderen) Aanbevelingenvoor het beheer van polderwaterlopen in de kom van Lampernisse (2010-2011) voor een delegatie van de 7e section wateringues du Pasde-Calais en van het Polderbestuur van de NoordwateringVeurne. Lampernisse, 8 juni.

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Staff & interns


Abid Kenza Allemeersch Luc Andries Rik Asselman Sabrina Ausloos Gert Baert Wim Ballings Petra Beau Natacha Bebwa Baguma Bellanger Sven Bellefroid Elke Bockstael Patrick Bogaerts Ann Borremans Paul Brouwers Erwin Caluwaerts Hilda Cammaerts Thomas Cassaer Ronny Charavel Valrie Clarysse Katrien Claus Liliane Cnop Rony Cocquyt Christine D'Hondt Frank Dardenne Christel De backer Rita De Block Petra De Block Irene De Bondt Leen De Bondt Hendrik De Buyser William De Coster Ann De Groote Anne De Haan Myriam De Jonge Gerrit De Kesel Andr De Medts Steve De Meeter Nico De Meeter Ivo De Meyer Frank De Meyere Dirk De Smedt Sofie De Witte Marie-Helene Decock Marleen Degreef Jrme Dehertogh Davy Delcoigne Daphne Denis Alain Deraet Nancy Derammelaere Stijn Derycke Marleen Dessein Steven Diagre Denis Engledow Henry Ertz Damien Es Koen Esselens Hans Etienne Christophe Ewango Corneille Fabri Rgine Faict Samuel Fernandez Antonio Fourmanois Frederic Fraiture Andr Galluccio Michele Gerstmans Cyrille Gheys Rudy Godaert Thomas Godefroid Sandrina Gonzalez Otalora Samuel Groom Quentin Hanquart Nicole Hanssens Francis Heyvaert Maria Heyvaert Karin Hidvegi Franck Honor Jacqueline Hoste Ivan Huyberechts Sonja Incheva Diana James Davy Janssens Marina Jospin Xavier Kaissoumi Abennabi Kleber Jutta Kosolosky Chris Lachenaud Olivier Laenen Luc Lahaye Chantal Lanckmans Peter Lanin Peter Lanin Myriam Lanin Lieve Lauwers Dries Lekeux Hubert Leyman Viviane Lokadi Valre Looverie Marleen Maerten Christophe Magotteaux Denis Mamdy Guillaume Mato Kelenda Bibiche Mertens Micheline Mombaerts Marijke Moyson Jozef Ntore Salvator Orban Philippe Peeters Marc Peeters Katarina Puttenaers Myriam Rasp Olivier Reubrecht Guy Reusens Dirk Robberechts Jean Roelandt Wouter Rombout Patrick Ronse Anne Saeys Wim Schaille Marc Schaille David Scheers Elke Schoemaker Erika Schoevaerts Johan Schuerman Riet Sergeant Roland Speliers Wim Stallaert Jean Steppe Eric Stoffelen Piet Stuer Benoit Swaerts Daniel Tavernier Willy Taylor Jonathan Telka Dominique Telka Brandon Thielemans Tom Tilley Maarten Van Belle Nand Van Caekenberghe frank Van Campenhout Geert Van de Kerckhove Omer Van de Moortel Jean Van de Perre Frederic Van de Vijver Bart Van de Vyver Ann Van den Borre Jeroen Van den Broeck Mia Van Den Broeck Dries Van den Troost Gery Van der Beeten Iris Van der Jeugd Michael Van der Plassche Thierry Van Eeckhoudt Rita Van Eeckhoudt Lucienne Van Eeckhoudt Kevin Van Eeckhoudt Jozef Van Grimbergen Dieter Van Gyseghem Jeannine Van Hamme Lucienne Vanhecke Leo Van Herp Marc Van Herp Anita Van Hoye Manon Van Humbeeck Linda Van Humbeeck Jozef Van Laethem Steven Van Landschoot Yannick Van Onacker Jean Van Opstal Jan Van Ossel Anja Van Renterghem Koen Van Rossum Fabienne Van Wal Rita Van Wambeke Paul Vanderborght Thierry Vanderstraeten Dirk Vanwinghe Petra Vekens Odette Verdickt Nathalie

Verdickt Jozef Verdonck Carina Verissimo Pereira Nuno Verlinden Willy Verlinden Kevin Verloove Filip Vermaelen Brigitte Vermeerbergen Jochen Vermeersch Bart Versaen Ilse Versaen Franois Verschueren Alice Vleminckx Sabine Vleminckx Kevin Vloeberghen Joseph Wets Rutger Willems Stefaan Wrsten Barend Zerard Carine

Volunteer Scientific Collaborators


Bamps Paul Billiet Frieda Champluvier Dominique Compre Pierre Geerinck Daniel Janssen Thomas Janssens Steven Lanata Francesca Malaisse Franois Pauwels Luc Rammeloo Jan Robbrecht Elmar Sharp Cathy Sotiaux Andr Stieperaere Herman Vanderweyen Arthur Vrijdaghs Alexander

Volunteers
Bailly Francine Bastin Dominique Berckx Anna-Maria Bockstael Annie Boyker Viktor Buelens Luc Cammaerts Lisette Cappeleman Ingrid Coen Marie-Laure Cornelis Geertrui De Beer Dirk De Bock Paul de Borman Sandrine De Cock Marianne De Cuyper Jef De Praetere Claude Anne De Smet Franoise De Wit Danil Dehaes Mimi Delire Sandra Demuylder Francine Devolder Christiane Devreese Renate Doutrelepont Hugues Dubois Martine Dumont Anne Marie Durant Danil Eykens Jos Fabr Lisette Fontaine Paul Gheysens Godelieve Goossens Flor Horions Christiane Houben Guido Huriaux Thierry Jessen Georgette Kelenda Bibiche Mato Keresdedjian Andre Kozloski Elisabeth Lecomte Josiane Lokadi Valre Mager Gertrud Marivoet Jos Mignolet Vinciane Minet Batrice Moesen Piet Opdenberg Mady Ray Anne Sasson Diana Scheiba Ria Schotte Marleen Semeria Claudia Shutt Richard Speeckaert Claudine Strack van Schijndel Maarten Swyncop Muril Tack Florent Thielemans Lea Thielemans Marc Valles Maria Van Asch Solange Van Bueren Gerda Van Capellen Gisle Van De Casteele Geertrui Van der Straeten Elza Van Manen Gerdine Van Rossem Maria Vanden Berge Marijke Verlinden Hugo Verstraete Simeon Verswyvel Myriam Verva Arlette Vivek Rao Vivignis Patrick Wagemans Emiel Wrsten Bart

Guides
Bailly Francine Benit Danielle De Cock Marianne De Cuyper Jef De Vriendt Francis Geernaert Inge Kozloski Elisabeth Proost Alida Silverans Michel Talloen Paul Tavernier Patrick Thielemans Katinka Van Acoleyen Roger Van den Broeck Martine Vanderherten Frank Van de Vijver Martine van Lidth Bndicte Verbist Brigitte Verschueren Frans Wayembergh Lisiane Wymeersch Miet

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The National Botanic Garden of Belgium:


a portrait
A garden with a long history
Older than Belgium, the earliest roots of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium can be traced to 1796, meaning that we have been working with plants for over two centuries. The Garden comprises 92 ha and includes many historical buildings, including a castle that dates back to the 12th century.

with unique collections

The Garden has a large herbarium housing about 4 million specimens and containing for example the largest rose herbarium of the world and important historical collections from Brazil and Central Africa. It also has a botanical library holding over 200,000 volumes, comprising publications from the 15th century till modern day.

with the mission to conserve plants

The Garden holds a collection of about 18,000 different kinds of living plants, among which several are threatened, such as the Laurent cycad (Encephalartos laurentianus). The Garden also houses an internationally recognised seed bank including inter alia the seeds of numerous wild bean species.

to study plants and fungi...

Activities of our scientists to inventory and study plants, fungal and algal diversity span the globe; from Antarctica to the rainforests of Congo. The scientific work focuses on the correct and scientific identification of plant species. What are the characteristics of a species? How many species are there? How do we distinguish one species from another? Without answers to these questions no economic activity based on plants or plant derived product could function. Knowing the correct scientific name of a species is the key that unlocks all information on this species. Correctly identifying a species helps us to recognise poisonous species from related medicinal ones. It helps us to establish if a plant species is threatened by extinction and in need of protection.

to teach about plant diversity...

On a yearly basis approximately 100,000 people visit the Garden. Most of our visitors come to explore the glasshouses and the gardens, but, of course, there is more. Our scientists fully realise the importance of sharing their knowledge, passion and enthusiasm with the public. The National Botanic Garden of Belgium has developed a range of tools to spread knowledge about plants and to raise public awareness about plant conservation. Our website www.botanicgarden.be offers an overview of current activities in the Garden.

Organisation chart

Direction

Section Algae and Mosses Section Fungi and Lichens

DEPT. Bryophytes & Thallophytes

Supporting services

Administration Accounting Human Resources Informatics

Section Ferns, Gymnosperms and Monocots Section Dicots

DEPT. Spermatophytes & Pteridophytes

Health & Safety Technical Support Reception Security Maintenance

Section Living Plant Collections and Park Section Library and Archives Section Museology and Education

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Photography

National Botanic Garden of Belgium Maarten Strack van Schijndel Daniel Parmentier Carlos Wetzel Michel Block National Botanic Garden of Belgium Botanical Values

Text

This report is also available in Dutch and French and can be downloaded from our website http://www.botanicgarden.be

Design

Sven Bellanger

National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Meise, 2013

National Botanic Garden of Belgium Bouchout Domain Nieuwelaan 38 1860 Meise

Something is growing in Meise!