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Dynamic management of crop diversity: From an experimental approach to on-farm conservation

Abstract : In agricultural systems, biodiversity includes diversity within species and among species and provides many benefits for production, resilience and conservation. This article addresses the effects of a strategy of in situ conservation called dynamic management (DM) on population evolution, adaptation and diversity. Two French DM initiatives are considered, the first one corresponding to an experimental context, the second to an on-farm management. Results from a study over 26 years of experimental DM of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) are first presented, including the evolution of agronomic traits and genetic diversity at neutral and fitness related loci. While this experiment greatly increased scientific knowledge of the effects of natural selection on cultivated populations, it also showed that population conservation cannot rely only on a network of experimental stations. In collaboration with a farmers’ network in France, researchers have begun studying the effects of on-farm DM (conservation and selection) on diversity and adaptation. Results from these studies show that on-farm DM is a key element for the long-term conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity. This method of in situ conservation deserves more attention in industrialised countries.
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Jerome Enjalbert, Julie Dawson, Sophie Paillard, Bénédicte Rhoné, Yves Rousselle, et al.. Dynamic management of crop diversity: From an experimental approach to on-farm conservation. Comptes Rendus Biologies, Elsevier, 2011, 334 (5-6), pp.458-468. ⟨10.1016/j.crvi.2011.03.005⟩. ⟨hal-02646406⟩



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