Conserving and preserving biodiversity is the need of the hour so we can strike a good ecological balance.
In-Situ Conservation and Ex-Situ Conservation are two of the most well-known ways to conserve biodiversity.
Let’s look at Ex-Situ Conservation
In Ex-situ conservation, plants and animals are preserved outside their natural habitats.
In Ex-situ conservation, species are reared and protected in special areas.
These include home gardens, gene banks, botanical gardens, zoological parks.
As part of Ex-situ conservation, some endangered species are called Sacred Plants.
Gardens within our homes are also used to preserve and grow plant species.
These include herbs like Aloe Vera, Tulsi, and Ajwain.
There are various other specially established places that are used to preserve endangered species.
These places are called ‘Offsite Collections’, such as Botanical Gardens, and Gene Banks.
Botanical Gardens are areas that are specially made for cultivating, conserving and displaying varieties of plants.
Gene Banks store the genetic materials of different animals and plants in the form of seeds, pollen, ovules and sperm.
A field seed gene bank stores plants and their seeds for shorter periods of time.
Some examples are Tea, Coconut, Rubber.
Some Gene banks store dehydrated seeds over long periods of time and are called In-house seed gene banks. Eg. Wheat, Barley.
A conservation method that develops cells and tissues artificially, is Tissue Culture.
Cryopreservation is a similar process that stores tissues, organs and seeds at -196 degrees Celsius. Eg. Tea seeds.
Some megadiversity centres are India, Peru, Australia, Ecuador and Mexico.
These megadiversity centres are identified on the basis of the number of endemic plants.
They are also identified on the basis of the threat to wildlife in these areas.
In-situ and ex-situ conservation are effective methods of conserving biodiversity.
Ex-situ conservation is a method of protecting animals and plants outside their homes.
Home Gardens, Botanical Gardens, Gene Bank and Tissue culture are some ways of Ex-situ conservation.