The cwrdiversity.org website has just released a new interactive map page displaying the results of gap analyses for the crop wild relatives of 29 important food and forage crops, with more to be added in the coming months. This Crop Wild Relative Global Atlas provides the opportunity to explore distributions and conservation concerns in geographic regions, crop gene pools, or particular CWR species of interest. The page presents occurrence data points, potential distribution maps, and maps displaying areas identified as of priority for collecting for conservation, over a Google Map interface also displaying the locations of international, national, and other protected areas.
The results displayed for the 439 CWR assessed thus far will be used by national agricultural institutes and interested conservation groups in collaboration with international organizations to help guide collecting efforts in the coming years. It is hoped that the results will also be used by other researchers and activists involved in biodiversity conservation and crop genetic resources. See the “Conservation Gaps” page for methodological resources and an overview of the results. Inputs on these results from those with experience in species distributions and conservation priorities is welcomed.
The distributions and conservation analyses for the CWR of 50 additional crops, including maize, soybean, cassava, tomato and other globally important staples will be added to the CWR Global Atlas as the results are produced and evaluated by associated researchers.
The CWR Global Atlas provides three distinct ways to visualize results:
1) CWR Taxon- view occurrence data, distribution maps, and conservation gaps maps for individual species.
2) Crop Gene Pool- view a summary of species distributions as well as conservation concerns for all assessed CWR in a particular crop gene pool.
3) Global Summary- view a summary of species distributions as well as conservation concerns for all assessed CWR in all crop gene pools combined.
To explore individual CWR species, click the “CWR Taxon” button and enter the species name in the search box. The results will first show available occurrence data points. Click on “Potential distribution map” to display the distribution model derived from occurrence data. Finally, click on “Collecting priorities map” to show areas identified as in need of further collecting. The conservation status of the species is also provided, along with a link to the associated crop gene pool.
To explore the results on the crop gene pool level, click on “Crop Gene Pool” and enter a cultivated species or its common name in the search box. The results will first display a richness map portraying the concentration of distributions of all assessed CWR species related to the crop. Clicking on “Collecting hotspots” will generate a second richness map providing concentration of distributions where species of high priority for collecting are thought to occur but have not yet been collected and conserved.
The “Global Summary” area displays richness maps of CWR species distributions, inclusive of all CWR in all crop gene pools assessed thus far. The corollary collecting priorities map reveals those geographic areas around the world with the greatest concentration of species considered of high priority for collecting.
Visit the CWR Global Atlas to explore crop wild relative distributions and conservation priorities.