Crop Wild Relatives and Global Food Security

by Adin Bonapart

Domestication by humans has reduced the genetic diversity within certain crops over time, making agriculture more susceptible to changes in climate. Some of the relevant effects of global climate change include shifts in temperature, rain variability, and plant pathogen range, all of which impact crops in various ways. Models predict that such climate-driven effects account for yield losses of 6 to 10% per 1°C of warming (Guarino and Lobell 2011). Furthermore, a global human population predicted to reach over 9.3 billion by 2050, plus degraded soils, water, land, and other resources, is creating further instability for food systems around the world. Continue reading