Nordic Crop Wild Relative Conservation

A Report from Two Collaborative Projects 2015–2019

image of Nordic Crop Wild Relative Conservation

The report summarizes results from a cooperation among all the Nordic countries during the period 2015 – 2019 (two projects). The work has focused on the conservation of Crop Wild Relatives (CWR), i.e. wild plant species closely related to crops. They are of special importance to humanity since traits of potential value for food security and climate change adaptation can be transferred from CWR into crops. The projects represent the first joint action on the Nordic level regarding in situ conservation of CWR. Substantial progress has been made regarding CWR conservation planning, including development of a Nordic CWR checklist and identification of suitable sites for CWR conservation. A set of recommended future actions was developed, with the most important one being initiation of active in situ conservation of CWR in all Nordic countries.



In situ conservation

Like other wild species, crop wild relatives can be threatened by human activities such as habitat destruction and fragmentation, changes and intensification of land management and adverse effects of climate change (Maxted et al., 2010; Jarvis et al., 2008). Many CWR populations grow in existing conservation areas, but most of them are not presently included in conservation programs (Ford-Lloyd et al., 2011) where their populations would be monitored and managed. Therefore, it is possible even for CWR populations in protected areas to decline unnoticed. Due to this, active measures are needed to safeguard CWR genetic resources.


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