Distribution of crop wild relatives of conservation priority in the UK landscape

Distribution of crop wild relatives of conservation priority in the UK landscape Many crop species suffer from a lack of genetic diversity which reduces the ability of cultivars to withstand new pests or environmental stresses. The wild relatives of crop plants are an important source of genetic variation and can be used to introduce new traits into existing crops. Identification and conservation of crop wild relatives (CWR) is, therefore, an important step to safeguard future food security. Recent efforts have identified geographical hotspots of CWR diversity in several countries but, as yet, there have been no surveys to identify the habitats and landscape features within these areas that might be most suitable for conservation efforts. Here, we use a UK-wide vegetation survey covering a range of both habitats and landscape features (e.g. fields, hedgerows, waterways and roadsides) to identify the habitats and features with the highest proportion of CWR identified as priority taxa for conservation. Priority CWR were most abundant in grassland habitats, although this was most striking in CWR related to forage and fodder crops. CWR related to food crops were most common in cropped and weedy areas, fertile grassland and lowland woodland. Within habitats, CWR occurrence was significantly associated with linear features including hedgerows, roadsides, field boundaries and field margins. Our findings indicate that CWR of conservation interest are often associated with disturbed habitats and landscape features that are not considered as priorities under site-based conservation measures. We suggest that efforts to maintain linear features in hotspots of CWR diversity would be most effective at conserving the UK's CWR resource. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Distribution of crop wild relatives of conservation priority in the UK landscape

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/distribution-of-crop-wild-relatives-of-conservation-priority-in-the-uk-0wWdNQpuaC
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2015.07.039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Many crop species suffer from a lack of genetic diversity which reduces the ability of cultivars to withstand new pests or environmental stresses. The wild relatives of crop plants are an important source of genetic variation and can be used to introduce new traits into existing crops. Identification and conservation of crop wild relatives (CWR) is, therefore, an important step to safeguard future food security. Recent efforts have identified geographical hotspots of CWR diversity in several countries but, as yet, there have been no surveys to identify the habitats and landscape features within these areas that might be most suitable for conservation efforts. Here, we use a UK-wide vegetation survey covering a range of both habitats and landscape features (e.g. fields, hedgerows, waterways and roadsides) to identify the habitats and features with the highest proportion of CWR identified as priority taxa for conservation. Priority CWR were most abundant in grassland habitats, although this was most striking in CWR related to forage and fodder crops. CWR related to food crops were most common in cropped and weedy areas, fertile grassland and lowland woodland. Within habitats, CWR occurrence was significantly associated with linear features including hedgerows, roadsides, field boundaries and field margins. Our findings indicate that CWR of conservation interest are often associated with disturbed habitats and landscape features that are not considered as priorities under site-based conservation measures. We suggest that efforts to maintain linear features in hotspots of CWR diversity would be most effective at conserving the UK's CWR resource.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from Google Scholar, PubMed
Create lists to organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off