Enhancing the conservation of crop wild relatives in Wales

H. Fielder*, C. Burrows, J. Woodman, B. V. Ford-Lloyd, N. Maxted

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


To feed the world's human population in the face of threats such as climate change, pests and diseases and land use change, crops will need to be bred which are more resilient and higher yielding. Crop wild relatives (CWR) are part of the solution to this as they contain higher levels of genetic diversity and contain beneficial traits, which can be used in crop improvement. CWR however, are also threatened and are generally poorly conserved; this is also true within Wales. Here, appropriate conservation for CWR in Wales is outlined to ensure the active and long-term maintenance of populations in situ and accessions ex situ. To achieve this, an inventory of 122 priority Welsh CWR was developed, hotspots of CWR taxon diversity were identified and a network of complementary genetic reserves was proposed. The Gower Peninsula was identified as the most taxon rich area of Wales for both common and rare/scarce CWR. Extensive gaps in ex situ collections were also identified for which further collecting is necessary. Implementation of the recommendations made will help to provide systematic and long-term conservation of CWR in Wales and will ensure this resource is available for use in crop improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
Number of pages14
JournalNew Journal of Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Crop wild relative
  • Food security
  • Gap analysis
  • Inventory
  • Prioritisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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