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Ahmed Fayaz

Doctor of Philosophy, (Plant Science)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Biodiversity of the Vireya group of Rhododendron L. (Ericaceae) collections in New Zealand and their potential contribution to international conservation

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Rhododendron subgenus Vireya, commonly known as vireyas, is a complex plant group composed of over 300 species mainly from Malesia. An international conservation assessment identified half of these as threatened. A key element of conservation action builds upon genetic diversity. However, such action is confounded by the complexity of classifying this group. Mr Fayaz studied genetic diversity and relationships among the plants, and then applied that knowledge to conservation planning. He found that there was sufficient genetic diversity to supportconservation of the plants in New Zealand collections. A proposal for a new classification of the subgenus and a conservation plan was formulated. This methodology could be applied to other complex plant groups and makes a valuable contribution to international conservation.

Dr Marion MacKay
Dr Susan Gardiner
Mr Graham Smith
Professor Russ Tillman

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