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Agricultural biodiversity

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Agricultural biodiversity
Agricultural biodiversity is a sub-set of general biodiversity. It includes all forms of life directly relevant to agriculture: rare seed varieties and animal breeds (farm biodiversity), but also many other organisms such as soil fauna, weeds, pests, predators, and all of the native plants and animals (wild biodiversity) existing on and flowing through the farm. However, most attention in this field is given to crop varieties and to crop wild relatives. Cultivated varieties can be broadly classified into “modern varieties” and “farmer’s or traditional varieties”. Modern varieties are the outcome of formal breeding and are often characterized as 'high yielding'. For example, the short straw wheat and rice varieties of the Green Revolution. In contrast, farmer’s varieties (also known as landraces) are the product of (breeding and) selection carried out by farmers. Together, these varieties represent high levels of genetic diversity and are therefore the focus of most crop genetic resources conservation efforts. Agricultural biodiversity will also be absolutely essential to cope with the predicted impacts of climate change, not simply as a source of traits but as the underpinnings of more resilient farm ecosystems. Agricultural biodiversity is the basis of our agricultural food chain, developed and safeguarded by farmers, livestock breeders, forest workers, fishermen and indigenous peoples throughout the world. The use of agricultural biodiversity (as opposed to non diverse production methods) can contribute to food security and livelihood security.

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Biology Glossary

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agricultural biodiversity
تنوع زیستی کشاورزی
  


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Bioglossary

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Agricultural biodiversity
Description: See: Domestic biodiversity.
Source: None

© European Communities, 1995-2004

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