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      International collaboration between collections‐based institutes for halting biodiversity loss and unlocking the useful properties of plants and fungi

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          The amazing potential of fungi: 50 ways we can exploit fungi industrially

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            Global conservation priorities for crop wild relatives

            The wild relatives of domesticated crops possess genetic diversity useful for developing more productive, nutritious and resilient crop varieties. However, their conservation status and availability for utilization are a concern, and have not been quantified globally. Here, we model the global distribution of 1,076 taxa related to 81 crops, using occurrence information collected from biodiversity, herbarium and gene bank databases. We compare the potential geographic and ecological diversity encompassed in these distributions with that currently accessible in gene banks, as a means to estimate the comprehensiveness of the conservation of genetic diversity. Our results indicate that the diversity of crop wild relatives is poorly represented in gene banks. For 313 (29.1% of total) taxa associated with 63 crops, no germplasm accessions exist, and a further 257 (23.9%) are represented by fewer than ten accessions. Over 70% of taxa are identified as high priority for further collecting in order to improve their representation in gene banks, and over 95% are insufficiently represented in regard to the full range of geographic and ecological variation in their native distributions. The most critical collecting gaps occur in the Mediterranean and the Near East, western and southern Europe, Southeast and East Asia, and South America. We conclude that a systematic effort is needed to improve the conservation and availability of crop wild relatives for use in plant breeding.
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              Global priorities for an effective information basis of biodiversity distributions

              Gaps in digital accessible information (DAI) on species distributions hamper prospects of safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services, and addressing central ecological and evolutionary questions. Achieving international targets on biodiversity knowledge requires that information gaps be identified and actions prioritized. Integrating 157 million point records and distribution maps for 21,170 terrestrial vertebrate species, we find that outside a few well-sampled regions, DAI on point occurrences provides very limited and spatially biased inventories of species. Surprisingly, many large, emerging economies are even more under-represented in global DAI than species-rich, developing countries in the tropics. Multi-model inference reveals that completeness is mainly limited by distance to researchers, locally available research funding and participation in data-sharing networks, rather than transportation infrastructure, or size and funding of Western data contributors as often assumed. Our results highlight the urgent need for integrating non-Western data sources and intensifying cooperation to more effectively address societal biodiversity information needs.
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                Author and article information

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                Journal
                PLANTS, PEOPLE, PLANET
                Plants People Planet
                Wiley
                2572-2611
                2572-2611
                September 2020
                September 29 2020
                September 2020
                : 2
                : 5
                : 515-534
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Ardingly UK
                [2 ]Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Richmond UK
                [3 ]Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre and Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences University of Gothenburg Göteborg Sweden
                [4 ]Department of Natural Sciences Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester UK
                [5 ]Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro Brazil
                [6 ]Centre for Functional Ecology Department of Life Sciences University of Coimbra Coimbra Portugal
                [7 ]Herbier National de Guinée Université Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry Conakry Guinea
                [8 ]Negaunee Institute for Plant Conservation Science and Action Chicago Botanic Garden Glencoe IL USA
                [9 ]Global Crop Diversity Trust Bonn Germany
                [10 ]Botanic Gardens Conservation International Richmond UK
                Article
                10.1002/ppp3.10149
                © 2020

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