Advertisement

Economic Botany

, 65:146 | Cite as

Landraces in situ Conservation: A Case Study in High-Mountain Home Gardens in Vall Fosca, Catalan Pyrenees, Iberian Peninsula1

  • Laura Calvet-MirEmail author
  • Maria Calvet-Mir
  • Laura Vaqué-Nuñez
  • Victoria Reyes-García
Article

Abstract

Landraces in situ Conservation: A Case Study in High-Mountain Home Gardens in Vall Fosca, Catalan Pyrenees, Iberian Peninsula. Interest in landrace conservation has grown over the last few decades with much research focusing on the maintenance of on-farm crop genetic diversity in the tropics. Research on landraces is less abundant in temperate climates. In this paper we assess landrace conservation status in home gardens in Vall Fosca (Catalan Pyrenees, Iberian Peninsula). We estimate the individual socio-demographic attributes associated with in situ conservation of landraces and explore the reasons for their conservation. Fieldwork was conducted March–September 2008, during which time we surveyed 60 home gardens, owned by 53 tenders from 16 villages. We recorded occurrence, abundance, uses, and management of plants cultivated in home gardens. We also inquired about the informants’ reasons for conserving landraces. We found 148 different species. We identified 39 landraces corresponding to 31 species. Women, people over 65 years of age, experienced gardeners, and people who grow their home garden organically were more likely to conserve landraces than people without those characteristics. Although the informants express a strong preference for landraces, they mainly grow commercial varieties. Landraces seem to be displaced by less labor-intensive commercial varieties.

Key Words

Catalonia commercial varieties crop genetic diversity cultural tradition seeds exchange 

Conservación in situ de Cultivos de Gestión Local: Estudio de Caso en Huertos de Alta Montaña de la Vall Fosca, Pirineos Catalanes, Península Ibèrica. Las últimas décadas han visto un aumento del interés en la conservación de cultivos de gestión local, con la investigación centrándose especialmente en el mantenimiento in situ de la agrobiodiversidad en los trópicos. La investigación sobre los cultivos de gestión local es menos abundante en climas templados. En este artículo evaluamos el estado de conservación de cultivos de gestión local en huertos de la Vall Fosca (Pirineo catalán, Península Ibérica). Estimamos la asociación entre atributos socio-demográficos de la persona y la conservación in situ de los cultivos de gestión local y exploramos las razones de su conservación. Entre los meses de marzo y setiembre del año 2008 se estudiaron 60 huertos, regentados por 53 hortolanos. Registramos la ocurrencia, abundancia, usos, y gestión de todas las plantas cultivadas en los huertos. También preguntamos a los informantes sus razones para conservar los cultivos de gestión local. Encontramos 148 especies diferentes, e identificamos 39 cultivos de gestión local correspondientes a 31 especies. Las mujeres, las personas mayores de 65 años, los hortelanos expertos, y las personas que gestionan su huerto de forma orgánica tienden a conservar más cultivos de gestión local que las personas sin estas características. Aunque los informantes expresaron una fuerte preferencia hacia los cultivos de gestión local, principalmente cultivaban variedades comerciales. Parece que los cultivos de gestión local han sido desplazados por variedades comerciales más fáciles de cultivar.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Research was funded by the Programa de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades del Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (MEC-España) (SEJ2007–60873/SOCI), the Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (AGAUR), and the Centre de Promoció de la Cultura Popular i Tradicional Catalana (CPCTC) (Generalitat de Catalunya). L. Calvet-Mir acknowledges financial support from a FPU grant of the MEC-España (AP–2006–01849). We thank the tenders who collaborated in the project. We also thank Laura Aceituno, Teresa Garnatje, Juan José Lastra, Montserrat Parada, Manuel Pardo, Montserrat Rigat, Joan Vallès, and Sara Vila for help in the identification of species and comments to previous versions of this work. Three anonymous reviewers also provided useful comments. Thanks also go to Samuel Pyke for English editing and to Laia Echániz and Daniel Corbacho for help with the figures.

Literature Cited

  1. Acosta-Naranjo, R. and J. Díaz-Diego. 2008. Y en sus manos la vida. Los cultivadores de las variedades locales de Tentudía. Centro de Desarrollo Comarcal de Tentudía, Tentudía-Extremadura.Google Scholar
  2. Agelet, A., M. À. Bonet, and J. Vallès. 2000. Homegardens and their role as a main source of medicinal plants in mountain regions of Catalonia (Iberian Peninsula). Economic Botany 54:295–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Altieri, M. A. and L. Merrick. 1987. In situ conservation of crop genetic resources through maintenance of traditional farming systems. Economic Botany 41:86–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ———, M. K. Anderson, and L. Merrick. 1987. Peasant agriculture and the conservation of crop and wild plant resources. Conservation Biology 1:49–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bajracharya, B. 1994. Gender issues in Nepali agriculture. A review. HMG Ministry of Agriculture/International Policy Analysis in agriculture and Related Resource Management. Winrock International, Kathmandu, Nepal, Research Report, no 25.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, A. H. D., D. Zohary, and E. Nevo. 1978. Outcrossing rates and heterozygosity in natural populations of Hordeum spontaneum Koch in Israel. Heredity 41:49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clayton, S. 2007. Domesticated nature: Motivations for gardening and perceptions of environmental impact. Journal of Environmental Psychology 27:215–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cleveland, D. A., D. Soleri, and S. E. Smith. 1994. Folk crop varieties: Do they have a role in sustainable agriculture? Bioscience 44:740–751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cox, P. A. 2000. Will tribal knowledge survive the millennium? Science 287:44–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eyzaguirre, P. B. and O. F. Linares. 2004. Introduction. Pages 1–28 in P. B. Eyzaguirre and O. F. Linares, eds., Home Gardens and Agrobiodiversity. Smithsonian Books, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  11. Frison, E., I. F. Smith, T. Johns, J. Cherfas, and P. B. Eyzaguirre. 2006. Agricultural biodiversity, nutrition and health: Making a difference to hunger in the developing world. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 27:167–179.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Guzmán-Casado, G. I., J. J. Soriano-Niebla, S. F. García-Jiménez, and M. A. Díaz del Cañizo. 2000. La recuperación de variedades locales hortícolas en Andalucía (España) como base de la producción agroecológica. Pages 339–362 in G. I. Guzmán Casado, M. González de Molina, and E. Sevilla Guzmán, eds., Introducción a la agroecología como desarrollo rural sostenible. Mundiprensa, Madrid.Google Scholar
  13. Jarvis, D. I. and T. Hodgkin. 2008. The maintenance of crop genetic diversity on farm: Supporting the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on agricultural biodiversity. Biodiversity 9:23–28.Google Scholar
  14. Louette, D. and M. Smale. 2000. Farmers’ seed selection practices and traditional maize varieties in Cuzalapa, Mexico. Euphytica 113:25–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Maffi, L. 2002. Endangered languages, endangered knowledge. International Social Science Journal 54:385–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Maxted, N., L. Guarino, L. Myer, and E. A. Chiwona. 2002. Towards a methodology for on-farm conservation of plant genetic resources. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 49:31–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Padulosi, S., I. Hoeschle-Zeledon, and P. Bordoni. 2008. Minor crops and underutilized species: Lessons and prospects. Pages 605–625 in N. Maxted, B. V. Ford-Lloyd, S. P. Kell, J. M. Iriondo, M. E. Dulloo, and J. Turok, eds., Crop Wild Relative Conservation and Use. CAB International, Wallingford.Google Scholar
  18. Perrault-Archambault, M. and O. T. Coomes. 2008. Distribution of agrobiodiversity in home gardens along the Corrientes River, Peruvian Amazon. Economic Botany 62:109–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Prescott-Allen, R. and C. Prescott-Allen. 1982. The case for in situ conservation of crop genetic resources. Nature and Resources 231:5–20.Google Scholar
  20. Pulido, M. T., E. M. Pagaza-Calderón, A. Martínez-Ballesté, B. Maldonado-Almanza, A. Saynes, and R. M. Pacheco. 2008. Home gardens as an alternative for sustainability: Challenges and perspectives in Latin America. Pages 55–79 in U. P. Albuquerque and M. Alves-Ramos, eds., Current Topics in Ethnobotany. Research Signpost, Kerala.Google Scholar
  21. Ravishankar, T., L. Vedavalli, A. A. Namibi, and V. Selvam. 1994. Role of Tribal Communities in the Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources. MSSRF, Madras.Google Scholar
  22. Reyes-García, V., S. Vila, L. Aceituno-Mata, L. Calvet-Mir, T. Garnatje, A. Jesch, J. J. Lastra, M. Parada, M. Rigat, J. Vallès, and M. Pardo-de-Santayana. 2010. Gendered home gardens. A study in three mountain areas of the Iberian Peninsula. Economic Botany 64(3):235–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sunwar, S., C. G. Thornström, A. Subedi, and M. Bystrom. 2006. Home gardens in Western Nepal: Opportunities and challenges for on-farm management of agrobiodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation 15:4211–4238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vogl, C. R. and B. Vogl-Lukasser. 2003. Tradition, dynamics and sustainability of plant species composition and management in homegardens on organic and non-organic small scale farms in alpine Eastern Tyrol, Austria. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture 21:349–366.Google Scholar
  25. Watson, J. W. and P. B. Eyzaguirre, eds. 2002. Proceedings of the Second International Home Gardens Workshops: Contribution of Home Gardens to In Situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources in Farming Systems, Witzenhausen, Federal Republic of Germany. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Calvet-Mir
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Calvet-Mir
    • 1
  • Laura Vaqué-Nuñez
    • 1
  • Victoria Reyes-García
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia AmbientalsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.ICREA and Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia AmbientalsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations