Ex situ gap analysis can be carried out at different levels:

  • Individual CWR level: whether the target CWR taxa are adequately represented by existing ex situ accessions.
  • Ecogeographic level: whether the whole ecogeographic range of the CWR is represented ex situ. Ecogeographic diversity can be used as an indicator of genetic diversity, the assumption being that the conservation of maximum ecogeographic diversity will result in the conservation of maximum genetic diversity. Characterizing populations according to the environmental conditions in which they grow can also help to identify useful abiotic traits such as extreme temperatures, drought etc.
  • Genetic level: whether specific CWR populations that contain genetic diversity of interest (e.g. high genetic diversity) are conserved ex situ.
  • Trait level: whether specific CWR populations that contain a particular trait of interest (e.g. resistance to drought etc.) are adequately conserved ex situ.

Ex situ gap analysis includes the following three main steps, which are very similar to those carried out in an in situ gap analysis:

  1. Select the occurrence data to be used in the analysis.
  2. Identify the CWR that are not conserved ex situ (individual CWR taxon level).
  3. Identify gaps at infra-species level, i.e. ecogeographic diversity, genetic and trait levels.

The Interactive Toolkit for Crop Wild Relative Conservation Planning was developed within the framework of the SADC CWR project www.cropwildrelatives.org/sadc-cwr-project (2014-2016),
which was co-funded by the European Union and implemented through ACP-EU Co-operation Programme in Science and Technology (S&T II) by the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.
Grant agreement no FED/2013/330-210.