Crop Wild Relatives: A Manual of in situ Conservation

Crop Wild Relatives: A Manual of in situ Conservation


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Crop wild relatives (CWR) are plant species which are more or less closely related to crops. They are a vital resource by providing a pool of genetic variation that can be used in breeding new and better adapted varieties of crops that are resistant to stress, disease, drought and other factors. They will be increasingly important in allowing crops to adapt to the impacts of climate, thus safeguarding future agricultural production. However, CWR themselves are vulnerable to changing climate.

Until recently, the main conservation strategy adopted for CWR has been ex situ - through the maintenance of samples as seed or vegetative material in various kinds of genebank or other facilities. Now the need to conserve CWR in their natural surroundings (in situ) is increasingly recognized. This allows their populations to continue evolving and generate new genetic variation that is adapted to changing conditions.

Hitherto, experience in conserving the wild relatives of crops in situtions has been very limited. Recent research co-ordinated by Bioversity International has produced a wealth of information on good practices and lessons learned for their effective conservation. This book captures the important practical experiences of countries participating in this work and describes them for the wider conservation community. It includes case studies and examples from Armenia, Bolivia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan which are important centres of diversity for crop wild relatives, and covers four geographical regions - the Caucasus, South America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific Region. It provides practical, relevant information and guidance for the scaling-up of actions targeting CWR conservation around the world. This will contribute to the enhanced conservation and utilization of CWR and contribute options for improving food security and adaptation to climate change across a range of environments.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849711791
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/28/2011
Series: Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 440
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Danny Hunter is a scientist with expertise in plant genetic resources, their conservation and utilisation. He has worked as a technical adviser or team leader on a number of important global projects related to agricultural biodiversity and has professional experience in 30 countries covering most regions. Most recently he has been the Global Project Coordinator for the UNEP/GEF Crop Wild Relatives project. Currently he is based at Bioversity International in Rome, Italy.

Vernon Heywood is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Reading, UK. He was Chief Scientist for plant conservation at IUCN and founding Director of Botanic Gardens Conservation International. He co-ordinated and edited the UNEP Global Biodiversity Assessment and has published over 60 books and 400 scientific papers.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Crop Wild Relatives (CWR)
2. Crop Wild Relatives in the Project Countries
3. What do we Mean by In Situ Conservation of CWR?
4. Planning for CWR Conservation and Partnership Building
5. Participatory Approaches for CWR In Situ Conservation
6. National CWR Strategy/Action Plan
7. Selection and Prioritization of Species/Populations and Areas
8. Establishing an Information Baseline: Ecogeographic Surveying
9. Protected Areas and CWR Conservation
10. Species and Population Management/Recovery Plans
11. Conservation Strategies for Species/Populations Occurring Outside Protected Areas
12. Complementary Ex situ Conservation Actions
13. Monitoring of Areas and Species/Populations to Assess Effectiveness of Conservation/Management Actions
14. Adapting to Global Change
15. Capacity Building and Training
16. Communications, Public Awareness and Outreach

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