Habitat Re-Creation

Flora of Jordan | Deciduous Oak Forest Habitat | Pine Forest Habitat | Juniper Forest Habitat | Riparian Freshwater Habitat | Jordan Valley and Dead Sea Habitat

Restoring three Jordanian Habitats and demonstrating two at the Royal Botanic Garden

In keeping with our whole-systems approach to biodiversity conservation, the RBG is attempting to re-create five complete Jordanian habitats with ex situ conservation at the Royal Botanic Garden in Tal Al-Rumman.

Ex situ means "off site," i.e. we are propagating native plant species outside of their normal in situ place of growth in Jordan.

In situ means "on site," and we use this term to refer to the naturally occurring or "home" habitats used as models for each of our re-created habitats.

Why is the RBG going to all the trouble of re-creating entire habitats?

Our goal is to conserve the widest possible range of species and give visitors an understanding of how ecosystems work. We feel that exposing people to complete habitats is far more valuable than merely displaying planted beds of ornamental flowers.

A Jordan Valley landscape

The whole habitat approach will also help educate the public to recognize and protect Jordan's few remaining in situ native habitats. Plus, it will provide us with a natural laboratory where our botanists can conduct research on long-term vegetation change and habitat rehabilitation.

Our re-created habitats are whole biotic systems, supported by rainwater harvesting, where intricate relationships between microorganisms, insects, birds, animals and plants enrich the land and attract more biodiversity.

For each of our re-created habitats, we have pinpointed a model or home habitat elsewhere in the Kingdom, as untouched by animals and humans as possible. The RBG is actively protecting those sites, studying their flora, and mimicking them as closely as possible. For our fifth re-created habit, we are using the entire Jordan Valley as our inspiration.

The Habitats

The Royal Botanic Garden is fortunate to have a number of naturally occurring microclimates within our "two mountains and a half." The site includes a variety of soil types and exposures, and over 300 m of elevation change. Five distinct areas have been identified that offer conditions conducive for the re-creation of the following habitats:

Our Habitats are being planted with key species found in the corresponding home habitat. As they grow, visitors will get the rare treat of seeing habitats in a condition as close to natural as possible as they walk the trails. Selected areas of each habitat will be reserved for researchers only.

Since plant diversity throughout the country is quickly disappearing and so little systematic study has been conducted to identify the current status of Jordan's plants, the RBG's research branch aims to provide solid information to the scientific community, policymakers and the wider public.