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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365853

Research Project: Efficient and Effective Preservation and Management of Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Collections

Location: Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research

Title: Modeled distributions and conservation status of the wild relatives of chile peppers (Capsicum L).

item Khoury, Colin
item Carver Jr, Daniel
item BARBOZA, GLORIA - Universidad Nacional De Cordoba
item Jarret, Robert - Bob
item VAN ZONNEVELD, MAARTEN - World Vegetable Center
item BARCHENGER, DEREK - The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) - Taiwan
item BOHS, LYNN - University Of Utah
item KANTAR, MICHAEL - University Of Hawaii
item UCHANSKI, MARK - Colorado State University
item MERCER, KRISTIN - The Ohio State University
item NABHAN, GARY - University Of Arizona
item BOSLAND, PAUL - New Mexico State University
item Greene, Stephanie

Submitted to: Diversity and Distributions
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2019
Publication Date: 11/17/2019
Citation: Khoury, C.K., Carver Jr, D.P., Barboza, G., Jarret, R.L., Van Zonneveld, M., et. al. 2019. Modeled distributions and conservation status of the wild relatives of chile peppers (Capsicum L). Diversity and Distributions. 26(2):209-225.

Interpretive Summary: The wild relatives of the domesticated chile peppers are useful for crop breeding, but may be threatened in their natural habitats and insufficiently represented in genebanks. We investigated the conservation status of the 37 wild relatives of chile peppers, finding that they are extremely underrepresented in genebanks, while moderately well represented in protected areas. We outline priorities for further conservation action.

Technical Abstract: Aim: To fill critical knowledge gaps with regard to the distributions and conservation status of the wild relatives of chile peppers (Capsicum L.). Location: The study covered the potential native ranges of currently recognized wild Capsicum taxa, throughout the Americas. Methods: We modeled the potential distributions of 37 wild taxa in the genus, characterized their ecogeographic niches, assessed their ex situ and in situ conservation status, and performed preliminary threat assessments. Results: We categorize 18 of the taxa as ‘high priority’ for further conservation action as a consequence of a combination of their ex situ and in situ assessments, 17 as ‘medium priority’, and two as ‘low priority’. Priorities for resolving gaps in ex situ conservation were determined to be high for 94.6%, and medium or high with regard to increased habitat protection for 64.9% of the taxa. The preliminary threat assessment indicated that six taxa may be critically endangered, three endangered, ten vulnerable, six near threatened, and 12 least concern. Main conclusions: Taxonomic richness hotspots, especially along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, in Bolivia and Paraguay, and in the highlands of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, represent particularly high priority regions for further collecting for ex situ conservation as well as for enhanced habitat conservation.