Rare and endemic plant species represent important components of plant biodiversity which require protection to ensure their sustainable conservation. Cerastium banaticum (Rochel) Heuff. is such an endemic and rare species from Romania, for which the genetic variability of two natural populations was studied by SSR markers. Shannon’s information index revealed low levels of genetic diversity in both populations (I = 0.296). As the first attempt in a conservation program a reproducible micropropagation protocol was established starting from seeds, followed by multiplication, rooting, and ex vitro acclimatization. Among the various plant growth regulators tested the highest multiplication coefficient was achieved on a culture medium with 0.5 mg L-1 6-furfurylaminopurine (K) and 1 mg L-1 α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). On this PGRs concentration a number of 26.6 shoots/individual explant with a mean length of 7.9 cm for new generated shoots was registered. The highest number of roots/individual initiated shoot was 2.6 and it was recorded on a culture medium with 0.5 mg L-1 2-isopentyl-adenine (2iP) and 0.1 mg L-1 NAA. The outdoor acclimatization was successfully performed in a specially designed rocky area in the ‘Alexandru Borza’ Botanical Garden, Cluj-Napoca (Romania).
Biodiversity conservation cannot operate in Central Eastern European countries without a well-established monitoring system, that is dependent on the citizen scientists input. Here we analyse, based on a Polish case: (1) The contribution of NGOs to the national nature monitoring scheme and their collaboration with governmental and scientific institutions and (2) the motivation of citizen scientists to volunteer for NGOs’ monitoring activities. The study comprises a focus group interview, 30 in-depth interviews with coordinators, citizen scientists, experts and a 23 days long participant observation of a model NGO. We have assessed the monitoring input of NGOs as being a contributory factor influencing the biodiversity conservation effectiveness. The cooperation between governmental, scientific institutions and NGOs exists, but is dependent on national funding. Although NGOs highlight the lack of coherence in monitoring methodology, they are willing to join the biodiversity monitoring, especially at the European Ecological Network – Natura 2000 sites. On the other hand the trust concerning cooperation with citizen scientists is limited. However, despite this, they still turned out to be trustworthy partners. The most effective way to maintain cooperation with citizen scientists is to create a bond in a group and to provide them with the opportunity to develop their passion for nature. Our findings have shed light on the growing importance of citizen scientists in biodiversity governance, providing recommendations for development of the effective monitoring schemes based on the volunteer work of citizen scientists.