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Monographic approach

A monographic approach is restricted to certain crop gene pools (usually prioritized). It is monographic because the methodology is comprehensive for individual target taxa throughout their full geographic range, or their full range within a geographically defined unit at any geographical scale.

At national level: CWR NSAP for South Africa

Asparagus densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop, a gene pool tertiary relative of asparagus with confirmed uses in increase of fertility and a potential source of resistance to several diseases (e.g. rust, fusarium crown and root rot), in South Africa. (Photo: SANBI)

 South Africa, a NSAP for CWR conservation and sustainable use was produced based on a partial CWR checklist of food (including beverages) and fodder crops. Such an approach was justified by the extremely high number of taxa in the flora (about 22,616) (Germishuizen et al. 2006) and given the national interest in focusing on food security. A food and fodder CWR checklist for South Africa was developed by matching the South African National Plant Checklist (SANPC) (Germishuizen et al. 2006) and the Red List of South African Plants online database  [2] with a list of crop genera that was compiled using various resources including crop genera of crops cultivated worldwide (Kell, unpublished) and minor and under-utilized crops from Africa (see more details here  [3]). A total of 1609 native and introduced taxa (species, subspecies and varieties) within 145 genera were included in the food and fodder CWR checklist for South Africa and further prioritized for conservation action based on the socio-economic value of the related crop at global, continental and regional (SADC) scales, utilization potential for crop improvement, relative distribution/occurrence and conservation status (see more details here  [4]). A total of 258 priority CWR were identified for which occurrence data (including field surveying of some of them) were collated. Systematic conservation planning of priority CWR resulted in the identification of priority areas for active in situ conservation and for further ex situ collecting. Concrete conservation recommendations that resulted from this analysis were then incorporated into the NSAP for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of CWR in South Africa.

Source: DAFF (2016), Hamer et al. (2016)

At national level: CWR NSAP for Zambia

Wild sorghum pictured here on the margins of a cultivated field in Chilanga, Zambia. (Photo: Dickson Ng’uni)

Conservation planning for priority CWR was undertaken in Zambia with the purpose of informing the NSAP for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of CWR in Zambia. The Zambia partial CWR checklist was developed based on a total of 59 crops (from 29 genera) cultivated nationally which were prioritized by the SADC Crop Wild Relative project (that funded this study) national committee (see more details here  [3]). The Zambia partial CWR checklist includes 459 taxa out of which 31 were further prioritized based on their relative geographical distribution, utilization potential for crop improvement, threat status, and economic use value of the related crops (see more details here  [4]). Collation of occurrence data from various sources was undertaken, diversity and gap analyses were carried out, and existing protected areas where priority CWR occur were identified for their active conservation. In addition, ex situ conservation gaps were identified and conservation recommendations were made.

Source: ZARI (2016a,b)

At regional level: collection of wild rice in eastern and southern Africa

A population of Oryza longistaminata A.Chev. & Roehr., a primary relative of both Asian and African rice, which has been used to improve yield and to confer drought tolerance and resistance to a number of diseases, pictured here Zambia. (Photo: ZARI)

A collecting programme targeting wild rice in eastern and southern Africa took place between 1997 and 1998. The collecting strategy was developed from an initial ecogeographic study based on data from several African and international herbaria and available literature on occurrence and distribution of the target species within the region, as well as information provided by the national programme staff. A total of 17 collecting missions were undertaken in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe between April 1997 and April 1998. Passport data and herbarium specimens were collected for each accession during the collecting missions. Threats to the wild rice species were assessed as genetic erosion indicators. Seed fertility, maturity and production were also reported.

Source: Kiambi et al. (2005)

At global level: conservation strategy for Aegilops species

Aegilops cylindrica Host, a wild relative of wheat (Triticum spp.), in the Erebuni State Reserve (Armenia), a genetic reserve dedicated to the conservation of wild wheat, including Triticum urartu Tumannian ex Gandilyan, T. boeoticum Boiss., T. araraticum Jakubz and Aegilops spp. (photo: René Hauptvogel).

Taxonomic, ecological, geographic and conservation information for 22 Aegilops species were collated from ICARDA, EURISCO, GRIN and SINGER datasets, and subsequently used to identify gaps in current conservation and to develop a systematic conservation strategy for the genus. A total of 9,866 unique geo-referenced records were collected from between 1932 and 2004. Predicted distribution maps were obtained for the Aegilops taxa and compared through conservation gap analysis using GIS tools. The ex situ conservation status of each taxon was assessed and used to provide a priority ranking, and nine out of the 22 taxa were identified as priorities for ex situ conservation. Future ex situ collections were recommended in several countries across the world. In addition, five complementary regions for in situ conservation of Aegilops diversity were identified in various countries. Within these five regions, 16 protected areas were identified as potential sites to establish genetic reserves. In addition, the most important Aegilops hotspot (on the Syrian/Lebanese border) was found to be outside a protected area and so recommendations for the establishment of a novel protected area were also made.

Source: Maxted et al. (2008)

At global level: ex situ conservation priorities for global priority CWR

Castañeda-Álvarez et al. (2016) have model the global distribution of 1,076 taxa related to 81 crops of global importance using occurrence information from biodiversity, herbarium and gene bank databases. They then compared the potential geographic and ecological diversity for each of these taxon with what is currently conserved ex situ in order to detect gaps in conservation. Main results showed that CWR diversity is generally poorly represented in gene banks as about 29% of the taxa (313 wild relatives of 63 crops) were not represented in gene banks and a further 24% (257 taxa) were represented by fewer than ten accessions. More than 70% of taxa were thus identified as high priority for further collecting in order to improve their representation in gene banks, and over 95% were insufficiently represented in terms geographic and ecogeographic diversity across their native distributions. Main ex situ collecting gaps occur in the Mediterranean and the Near East, western and southern Europe, Southeast and East Asia, and South America.

Source: Castañeda-Álvarez et al. (2016)

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