Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2014
Publication Date: 1/20/2015
Citation: Jaradat, A.A. 2015. Beyond biodiversity: Ecosystem services of crop wild relatives. In: Redden, R., Yadav, S.S., Maxted, N., Ehsan Dulloo, M., Guarino, L., Smith, P., editors. Crop Wild Relatives and Climate Change. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. p. 336-349.
Interpretive Summary: Crop wild relatives (CWRs) and crop progenitors constituted the principal food stocks upon which agriculture was founded. Along with their domesticated forms, including grain, fruit, vegetable, legume, pasture, and root crops, CWRs provided, for millennia, food, medicine, feed, shelter, and other ecosystem services to humans However, CWRs, like any other species, are subject to an increasing range of global threats, including climate change and land-use change. Their importance as a resource for future human well-being has not been fully recognized in the discussion of ecosystem services and in relation to climate change. This Chapter presents an assessment of the current status and future prospects of CWRs’ survival, variation, contribution to sustainable landscapes, and delivery of ecosystem services under a changing climate. The information provides a unified viewpoint of conservationists, genetic resources specialists and plant breeders to explore the multilayered relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services of CWRs.
Technical Abstract: Crop wild relatives (CWRs) and crop progenitors were among the first natural ecosystem services available to humans in building the foundations of agriculture in an era of remarkable climate change some 10,000 years ago. Ever since, spatial and temporal variation in micro- and macro-environments, and multi-level interactions of CWRs with their natural, and later, with (semi)-managed ecosystems generated tremendous adaptive genetic and phenotypic variation to various biotic and abiotic stress components of climate change. The components (e.g., genes, species, or traits) and attributes (e.g., amount, variation, or composition) of CWRs biodiversity that are necessary to respond to future environmental changes, retain and deliver ecosystem services under climate change will vary over time and space. As a storehouse of genetic information, CWRs are at risk from climate change and other anthropogenic factors. This Chapter presents an assessment of the current status and future prospects of CWRs’ survival, increased adaptive functional variation, contribution to sustainable landscapes, and delivery of provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services under a changing climate.