1st Istanbul International Geography Congress Proceedings Book
The global distribution characteristics of botanic gardens and their importance for biodiversity and climate changeMeral Avcı, Sedat Avcı
Despite conservation efforts since the 1990s, biodiversity losses continue to accelerate. The apparent impact of humanity on ecosystems and the resulting changes due to human activities have led to a new era: the Anthropocene. In this era, biodiversity conservation efforts are even more challenging because of both human impact and the consequences of climate change processes. To preserve biodiversity, botanic gardens are becoming increasingly significant, playing a crucial role in investigations on the adaptation to changing climates and habitats, migration probabilities, observations of phenological changes, and the maintenance of plant diversity in urban areas. According to data from Botanic Garden Conservation International, there are more than 3,500 botanic gardens, arboretums, parks, and/or seed banks across the world. These gardens contain one third of the living samples of all known plant species. Most botanic gardens also have herbariums and seed banks. Seed banks act as insurance against plant extinction and support research. When climate change processes are taken into consideration, the value and responsibilities of botanic gardens become paramount. This study investigated the distribution of botanic gardens from a geographical perspective. To examine the relationship between botanic gardens and major ecosystems, mega-diverse countries, hot spots, population, gross domestic product, urbanization, and cities, ArcGIS 10.2 software was used to create maps. These maps indicate the coordinates of botanic gardens and were used to investigate the effects of their distribution on the aforementioned parameters. The temporal development of the botanic gardens and their current global distribution with respect to climate change were examined.