Nowhere else in the world do the threatened Fernald’s and Long’s Braya (Braya fernaldii, B. longii) find a natural home than in the Limestone Barrens of the island of Newfoundland. The goal of this project was to provide a starting point for further research by growing and observing them under controlled, sterile conditions (= tissue culture). There were two independent parts:
1. Observation of early life stages
Development was tracked from imitation of germination through to mature plants in two unique trials. Both species of Braya were tested in each trial. A scoring system was applied to compare between species and between trials to see if there were differences in germination and growth success.
2: pH experiment
Plants of later stages were placed in tissue culture growth media of varying acidity (= pH)
In the end shoots and roots were measured before out-planting to a soil substrate.
The hypothesis was that lower pH substrate would improve growth as it would be more similar to the native habitat.
Jérôme Redlin-Weiß, from University of Freiburg in Germany completed this project while here on an exchange semester as part of his Bachelors degree in Environmental Science. Jérôme says, “I appreciate the hands on skills I learned here at the K.C. Irving Centre as I hope to continue working in conservation biology”.