Book Review

Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 395-401

First online:

One problem, two questions, three books about the vanishing diversity of cultivated plants

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The review deals with three books focused on two questions dealing with a single problem: how human cultures and crop cultures are interrelated? The two questions dealt with are: Is there a conflict between the evolution of cultivated plants and the present trend of our cultural (including social, economical, ideological or political) evolution? If yes, what can be done to diminish this conflict? The three books focused on these questions deal with (1) growing number of endangered crops on global scale (Khoshbakht and Hammer, Threatened Crop Species Diversity. Shahid Beheshti University Press, Teheran 2010), (2) massive erosion of locally and regionally important crop varieties and associated traditional knowledge followed by collapse of whole agroecosystems and landscapes on a country scale (Antofie, A red list of crop plant varieties for Romania—Lista rosie a varietatilor plantelor de cultura din Romania. Publ. House Lucian Blaga Univ., Sibiu 2011), and (3) the growing number of endangered human communities (ethnic, cultural and linguistic islands) which preserved for centuries many valuable genetic resources (Hammer et al. 2011).


Agrobiodiversity Endangered crops Ethnobiodiversity Genetic resources Linguistic islands