LABECOVE, stands for Laboratory of Plant Ecology. It's a research team of the University of Pavia, lead by Professor Graziano Rossi. The laboratories are based at the historical botanic garden of Pavia. In almost 20 years of activities Professor Rossi and his team of researchers, collaborators and students have conducted numerous scientific projects, most of which with international collaborations, resulting in over 120 publications on international peer reviewed journals. LABECOVE started as a centre for the study of native plant species with the focus on phytosociology, taxonomy and ecology. With the establishment of the Seed Bank the range of activities and academic endeavours expanded to seed sciences, especially germination ecophysiology, conservation and reintroduction of rare and endangered species and the study of the effects of climate change and human impacts on the conservation of vulnerable ecosystems and plant species.

Alongside the many scientific projects the LABECOVE team has managed or collaborated in a wide range of applied projects with local institutions, private companies and international organisations. Some of the most significant projects are:

  • Leading the nation wide effort to produce the first Red List for the Italian Flora in accordance to the IUCN standards.
  • Collaboration with the Millennium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK) for the collection and conservation of the seeds of Italian native plant species and crop wild relatives.
  • Numerous habitat conservation and plant species reintroduction projects in the Padana, Alpine and Appennine eco-regions in northern Italy.
  • Setting up and assisting in the operations of seed banking facilities in the Dominican Republic and Nepal.
  • Creation of the Spin off Flora Conservation, the first private company in Italy that provides native plants and seeds for reintroductions and ecological restoration

In the past five years the team has expanded its activity to the study and conservation of historical-locally adapted varieties of vegetables and fruits, called landraces. It lead the way in having those varieties officially recognised and protected at regional, national and European level, and provided the scientific tool for the characterisation of those varieties and ensured their long term conservation in the seed bank.


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