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Spatial patterns of diversity and genetic erosion of traditional cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) in the Peruvian Amazon: An evaluation of socio-economic and environmental indicators

Abstract

This study evaluates quantitatively the suitability of the use of site-specific socio-economic and environmental data as indicators to rapidly assess patterns of diversity and genetic erosion risk in cassava. Socio-economic data as well as farmers’ estimation of genetic erosion were collected in the study area, the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon, through interviews with 285 cassava farmers in 50 communities, while diversity was assessed based on agromorphological characterization of 295 cassava accessions. Using multivariate regression analyses, 50 and 45% of the variation in respectively diversity and genetic erosion estimation could be explained by a selected set of socio-economic and environmental indicators. In both regression models four out of the total of 38 variables proved to contribute significantly (at p < 0.10 level). Additionally, the study revealed that farmers are a good direct source of information on the diversity present at community level, which can contribute to the development of methodologies to assess diversity more rapidly. The results of this study are valuable for the development of models to rapidly assess diversity dynamics in large areas.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) for providing the resources to carry out this study through the project “Patterns of genetic diversity and genetic erosion of traditional crops in Peru: rapid assessment and risk prediction using GIS tools” (Project 99.7860.2-001). Special thanks go to, Jorge Alcántara, Brenda Castro, Wilfredo Guillén, Jaime Mori, Llerme Ríos and all other INIEA staff members who were responsible for the project’s fieldwork. The study would not have been possible without the local spatial data provided by the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana (IIAP) and the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT). Our thanks also go to Michael Hermann and Veerle Van Damme for their critical review of this paper. Finally, the authors would like to express their sincerest gratitude to all participating farmers and local authorities of the Ucayali Department, whose participation in this study was crucial to obtain the presented results.

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Correspondence to Xavier Scheldeman.

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Willemen, L., Scheldeman, X., Soto Cabellos, V. et al. Spatial patterns of diversity and genetic erosion of traditional cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) in the Peruvian Amazon: An evaluation of socio-economic and environmental indicators. Genet Resour Crop Evol 54, 1599–1612 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-006-9172-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-006-9172-7

Keywords

  • Amazon
  • Genetic erosion
  • Genetic diversity
  • GIS
  • Manihot esculenta