Ensuring the survival of endangered
plants in the Mediterranean

The Centre for the Conservation of Biodiversity, CCB, Sardinia (Italy)

The Centre for the Conservation of Biodiversity (CCB) is part of the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Cagliari and it was established thanks to funds from the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research MIUR.

CCB is based at the Botanical Gardens of Cagliari, which occupies an area of about 50,000 m2 and has various collections of plant species (about 4,000), coming from different continents and biomes. Its research topics include conservation biology studies of the Mediterranean flora, biosystematics of the Sardinian endemic plants and germplasm conservation of the threatened plants of Sardinia. Conservation strategies are carried out through the ex situ (collection of seeds, spores, etc.) and in situ conservation (inventory, monitoring, protection and study of plant populations).

The following facilities form part of the CCB: Germplasm Bank of Sardinia (BG-SAR), Laboratories and Rocky Gardens of Biodiversity. The main objective of the Germplasm Bank of Sardinia (BG-SAR) is the collection, propagation and management of germplasm of endemic, rare, threatened plant taxa or otherwise of particular phytogeographic interest of Sardinia and  also of Mediterranean insular systems, through long-term storage. There are four laboratories (Biosystematics, Education, Geobotany and Geopedology), that occupy a total area of 200 m2 as well as a well-stocked and updated library. The Rocky Gardens of Biodiversity have been created with the aim of recreating in the Botanical Gardens the conditions that can be found in natural ecosystems, characterized by the presence of peculiar plant species that lives in rocky or at least very stony habitats. They occupy an area of 450 m2 and are divided into three sectors on the basis of the three main lithologies present in Sardinia (granitic, calcareous and metamorphic).

Concerning partnerships and collaborations of CCB, partnership agreements have been signed with other institutions, marine protected areas, natural parks, regional entities (Province of Cagliari, Authority of the Forests of Sardinia, Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara, Natural Park Molentargius-Saline, etc.) and national and international Universities.

The CCB cooperates with other institutions also for the realization of various projects, of regional, national and international interest (Providune -LIFE07NAT/IT/000519 Project, CI. BI. TE. Project, Molentargius – Saline Projects, Mining environments Project, Biodivercity Project, Chia Dunes Project, Gennargentu Project, IUCN/WWF Project, Interreg IIIB Genmedoc, Interreg IIIB “Semclimed” Project, PON ATAS OB.1. Project, MATT-SBI Project, PRIN-COFIN 2004 Project, LISY Project, etc.).