Research in the Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens are part of the University of Bonn and their prime task is teaching and research. The gardens provide materials for research and teaching to the university’s faculty of mathematics and science as well as to its agricultural faculty. Traditionally, the gardens always cooperated closely with the Nees-Institute of Plant Biodiversity which is under the same directorship as the Botanic Gardens.
Research projects closely connected with the gardens are investigations into the evolutionary history of plants (phylogeny and evolution) and cataloguing of plant biodiversity (taxonomy). Increasingly, molecular techniques are also used in the institute using plant material from the gardens. Our focus is, among others, on epiphytes, carnivorous plants and ancient flowering plants. The mapping of global patterns of biological diversity is another focus of the Botanic Gardens. In the field of molecular science, we supply various plant material to the different working groups to conduct research.
The gardens inspired an extraordinary number of projects: copying from nature, the so-called ‘Lotus effect’ was discovered. It is a wonderful example of bionics that is now used in such applications as paints for outside walls.
The conservation of endangered species is also very important for Bonn Botanic Gardens. Thus, endangered local species from the Rhineland such as Lady’s Slipper Orchids, but also protected species from other countries such as Toromiro (Sophora toromiro) from Easter Island, are cultivated within the gardens. The Botanic Gardens Bonn are committed towards the aims and objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). The Gardens are involved in the implementation of these international agreements within the German botanic gardens community.