A model for genetic reserve conservation: a case study for Coffea in the Mascarene Islands. – Botanica Lithuanica, Suppl. 2: 61–78

A methodology for in situ conservation of plant genetic diversity in a genetic reserves has recentky been established. This paper attempts to provide both a theoretical and practical overview of the techniques involved in the location, planning, establishment, management and utilisation of the genetic resources conserved within the genetic reserve. The practical interpretation of the methodology is illustrated using the endemic coffee species of the Mascarene Islands; namely C. mauritiana Lam., C. macrocarpa A. Rich. and C. myrtifolia (A. Rich. ex DC.) Leroy. It is hoped that the paper will demonstrate the effectiveness of the general methodology proposed, provide an exemplar that could be followed for other taxonomic groups, as well as, illustrating how the methodology has been efficiently applied to conserve a particular group of important plant genetic resources.

Keywords: Coffea, Mascarene Islands, genetic diversity, genetic reserves.