Advertisement

Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 337–348 | Cite as

Towards the selection of taxa for plant genetic conservation

  • N. Maxted
  • J.G. Hawkes
  • L. Guarino
  • M. Sawkins
Article

Abstract

The signing and ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity has resulted in increased scientific and public interest in the conservation and utilisation of biological diversity. This has in turn triggered the need to develop more effective methodologies to conserve biological diversity for the benefit of all humanity. One of the first factors to be considered when conserving botanical diversity is the efficient and effective selection of the target taxa. The aim of this paper is not to set detailed priorities for the genetic conservation of the plant genetic resources of any particular crop or species complex, but to draw attention to the factors that should be considered when formulating priorities. The factors that are considered important when selecting plant genetic resource targets are: current conservation status; potential economic use; threat of genetic erosion; genetic distinctiveness; ecogeographic distribution; biological importance; cultural importance; cost, feasibility and sustainability; legislation; ethical and aesthetic considerations; and priorities of the conservation agency undertaking the conservation. Each of these factors is discussed in turn. Although it is not possible to provide a single methodology for the selection of plant genetic resource targets at this time, it is hoped that the consideration the factors discussed will make the selection of target taxa more object, make better use of the limited conservation resources and thus enhance the process of genetic conservation as a whole.

conservation methodology PGR priorities target taxa 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abramovitz, J.N., 1994. Trends in biodiversity investments. World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  2. Department of the Environment, 1995. Biodiversity: the UK steering group report. Volume 1: meeting the Rio challenge. Department of the Environment, London.Google Scholar
  3. Department of the Environment, 1996. Towards a methodology for costing biodiversity targets in the UK. Department of the Environment, London.Google Scholar
  4. Diamond, J., 1989. Overview of recent extinctions. In: D. Western & M. Pearl (Eds.). Conservation for the Twenty-first Century, pp. 37–41. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  5. Flint, M., 1991. Biological Diversity and Developing Countries. Issues and Options. Overseas Development Administration, London.Google Scholar
  6. Gillespie, J. & P. Shepherd, 1995. Establishing criteria for identifying critical natural capital in the terrestrial environment: a discussion paper. English Nature Research Reports, no. 141. English Nature, Peterborough.Google Scholar
  7. Given, D.R., 1994. Principles and Practice of Plant Conservation. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  8. Gomez-Campo, C. & collaborators. 1992. Libro rojo de especies vegetales amenazadas de Espana peninsular e Islas Balneares. Ministerio de Agricultura y Alimentacion, Madrid.Google Scholar
  9. Goodrich, W.J., 1987. Monitoring genetic erosion: detection and assessment. Unpublished consultancy document report. AGPG:IBPGR/86/99. IBPGR, Rome.Google Scholar
  10. Groombridge, B., 1992. Global Biodiversity: Status of the Earth's Living Resources. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  11. Guarino, L., 1995. Assessing the threat of genetic erosion. In: L. Guarino, V. Ramanatha Rao & R. Reid (Eds.), Collecting Plant Genetic Diversity: Technical Guidelines, pp. 67–74. CAB International, Wallingford.Google Scholar
  12. Hargrove, C., 1992. Weak anthropocentric intrinsic value. The Monist 75: 183–207.Google Scholar
  13. Harlan, J.R. & J.M.J. deWet, 1971. Towards a rational classification of cultivated plants. Taxon 20: 509–517.Google Scholar
  14. Hawkes, J.G., 1987. Ranking plants of economic value for conservation and development: a feasibility study. Unpublished IUCNWWF report, Godalming.Google Scholar
  15. Heywood, V.H., 1994. The measurement of biodiversity and the politics of implementation. In: P.L. Forey, C.J. Humphries & R.I. Vane-Wright (Eds.), Systematics and Conservation Evaluation. Systematic Association Special Volume 50, pp. 15–22. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  16. Hilton-Taylor, C., 1996. Red data list of Southern African plants. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.Google Scholar
  17. IUCN/WRI/CI/WWF-US/World Bank, 1990. Conserving the world's biodiversity. IUCN/WRI/CI/WWF-US/World Bank.Google Scholar
  18. IUCN, 1994. IUCN red list categories. Prepared by IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN Gland.Google Scholar
  19. Johnson, N., 1995. Biodiversity in the balance: approaches to setting geographic conservation priorities. Biodiversity Support Program, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  20. Lugo, A.E., 1988. Estimating reductions in the diversity of tropical forest species. In: E.O. Wison (Ed.). Biodiversity, pp. 58–70. National Acedemy Press, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  21. Master, L.L., 1991. Assessing threats and setting priorities for conservation. Conservation Biology 5: 559–563.Google Scholar
  22. Maxted, N., 1995. An ecogeographic study of Vicia subgenus Vicia. Systematic and Ecogeographic Studies in Crop Genepools 8. IBPGR, Rome. Pp. 184.Google Scholar
  23. Maxted, N., B.V. Ford-Lloyd & J.G. Hawkes, 1997. Plant genetic conservation: the in situ approach. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  24. McNeely, J.A., 1988. Economics and biological diversity: developing and using economic incentives to conserve biological resources. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  25. Milliken, W., R.P. Miller, S.R. Pollard & E.V. Wandelli, 1992. Ethnobotany of the Waimiri Atroari indians of Brazil. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.Google Scholar
  26. Mills, L.S., M.E. Soulé & D.F. Doak, 1993. The keystone species concept in ecology and conservation. Bioscience 43: 219–224.Google Scholar
  27. Naess, A. 1984. Intuition, intrinsic value, and deep ecology. The Ecologist 14: 201–203.Google Scholar
  28. Newbury, H.J. & Ford-Lloyd, B.V., 1997. In: N. Maxted, B.V. Ford-Lloyd & J.G. Hawkes (Eds.). Plant Genetic Conservation: the in situ Approach. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  29. Pearce, D.W. & R.K. Turner, 1990. Economics of natural resources and the environment. Harvester Wheatsheaf, New York, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  30. Pearce, D.W. & D. Morgan, 1994. The economic value of biodiversity. Earthscan, London, UK.Google Scholar
  31. Peet, P.K., 1974. The measurement of species diversity. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 5: 285–307.Google Scholar
  32. Perry, M.C. & E. Bettencourt, 1995. Sources of information existing germplasm collections. In: L. Guarino, V. Ramanatha Rao & R. Reid (Eds.). Collecting Plant Genetic Diversity: Technical Guidelines, pp. 121–129. CAB International, Wallingford.Google Scholar
  33. Shands, H.L., 1994. Some potential impacts of the United Nations Environment Program's Convention on Biological Diversity on the international system of exchanges of food crop germplasm. In: D. Witmeyer & M.S. Strauss (Eds.). Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, pp. 27–38. AAAS, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  34. Swanson, T., 1995. Global values of biological diversity: the public interest in the conservation of plant genetic resources for agriculture. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 105: 1–7.Google Scholar
  35. Sylvan, R., 1985a. A critique of deep ecology: part 1. Radical Philosophy 40: 2–12.Google Scholar
  36. Sylvan, R., 1985b. A critique of deep ecology: part 2. Radical Philosophy 41: 10–22.Google Scholar
  37. Tanner, J.E., T.P. Hughes & J.H. Connell, 1994. Species coexistence, keystone species, and succession-a sensitivity analysis. Ecology 75: 2204–2219.Google Scholar
  38. Turner, P.K. & M. Postle, 1994. Valuing the water environment: an economic perspective. In: N. Ward, & G.D. Garrod (Eds.).Water Quality: Understanding the Benefits and Meeting the Demands. CPE Research Report, Centre for Rural Economy, Department of Agricultural Economic and Food Marketing, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.Google Scholar
  39. United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development, 1992 Convention on biodiversity. UNCED.Google Scholar
  40. Vane-Wright, R.I., C.J. Humphries & P.H. Williams, 1991. What to protect? systematics and the agony of choice. Biological conservation 55: 235–254.Google Scholar
  41. Vane-Wright, R.I., 1996. Identifying priorities for the conservation of biodiversity: systematic biology criteria within a socio-political framework. In: K.T. Gaston (Ed.). Biodiversity: A Biology of Number and Difference, pp. 309–344. Blackwell Science, Oxford.Google Scholar
  42. WCMC, 1992. Global diversity: status of the Earth's living resources. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  43. Williams, P.H., 1992.WORLDMAP-priority areas for biodiversity. Version 3. Natural History Museum, London.Google Scholar
  44. Williams, P.H. & C.J. Humphries, 1994. Biodiversity, taxonomic relatedness and endemism in conservation. In: P.L. Forey, C.J. Humphries & R.I. Vane-Wright (Eds.). Systematics and Conservation Evaluation. Systematic Association Special Volume 50, pp. 207–229. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  45. Williams, P.H., C.J. Humphries & R.I. Vane-Wright, 1991. Measuring biodiversity for choosing conservation areas. In: J. La Salle & I. Gauld (Eds.). Hymenoptera and Biodiversity, pp. 309–328. CAB International, Wallingford.Google Scholar
  46. WRI, 1989. Keeping option alive: the scientific basis for conserving biodiversity. WRI, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  47. WRI, IUCN & UNEP, 1992. Global biodiversity strategy. WRI, Washington DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Maxted
    • 1
  • J.G. Hawkes
    • 1
  • L. Guarino
    • 2
  • M. Sawkins
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of BirminghamEdgbaston, BirminghamUk
  2. 2.International Plant Genetic Resources InstituteRegional Office for Sub-Saharan African, c/o IcrafNairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations