Guatemalan Atlas of Crop Wild Relatives hot off the press

Date: 23 November 2011

Atlas of Guatemalan Crop Wild Relatives hot off the press
The Atlas of Guatemalan Crop Wild Relatives, a new web tool designed to facilitate the conservation and use of crop wild relatives in Mesoamerica, has been released. The Atlas provides detailed information on 105 species or subspecies of wild Guatemalan plants that are related to crops, including their description, distribution, diversity and conservation status. The species are organized into genepools corresponding to the 29 crops that were chosen for this study because of their economic, cultural and biological importance. Using a Google Earth® interface, users can consult actual and potential distribution maps for each of the 105 plants included in the study based on climate change projections. Additional maps display areas of high species richness and diversity to assist conservation efforts. The maps draw upon a database of 2,600 records of scientific specimens conserved in numerous national and international institutions, primarily herbaria and seed banks. The database of geo-referenced data points is directly accessible and downloadable for users who wish to consult the original accession records or use them to conduct their own GIS-enabled analyses. The product is the result of a decade of collaborative efforts between the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of San Carlos de Guatemala (FAUSAC), USDA-ARS, Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Colleagues at the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog have tried and tested the Atlas providing useful comments for users. The Atlas can be downloaded here.