Are agricultural researchers working on the right crops to enable food and nutrition security under future climates?

This study examined how crop-specific agricultural research investments can be prioritised to anticipate climate change impact on crops and to enable the production of more nutritious food. We used a simple crop modelling approach to derive expected future changes in regional climate suitability for crops. To determine if different starch-rich and pulse crops are currently underresearched or overresearched, we examined the global relation between crop-specific research output (number of publications) and the total nutrient output available for human consumption. Our analysis shows that current research investments are mostly associated with the current energy output of crops. Other things equal, investment levels tend to be slightly lower for crops better adapted to future climates and tend to decrease as crop nutrient richness increases. Among starch-rich crops, maize, barley, and rice receive substantially more research investment than justified by their current nutrient output. Sweetpotato, potato, and wheat show substantial current research deficits. Sweetpotato is most strongly underresearched in regions with improving climate suitability. For potato, research deficits occur in regions where these crops will experience less suitable climate conditions. For wheat, the deficits are distributed equally across regions with negative and positive climate effects. Three crops are significantly over-researched, namely maize, rice, and barley. Among pulses, cowpea, and lupin are generally overresearched. Common bean is highly underresearched, but these deficits concentrate in areas where it will likely suffer from climate change. Lentil, broad bean, and chickpea are underresearched, with deficits concentrating in regions where these crops will tend to benefit from future climates. Agricultural research investment allocations will need to consider additional factors not taken into account in this study, but our findings suggest that current allocations need reconsideration to support climate adaptation and enhance healthy human nutrition.

Global Environmental Change, Volume 53, November 2018, Pages 182-194

Posted in Bioversity Publications, Climate change, Crop wild relatives, Food & Nutrition, FOOD SECURITY | Leave a comment

Nature Index: World of high-quality scientific research

The Nature Index 2018 Annual Tables has been released, and the United States is the world’s largest contributor to high-quality scientific research papers, followed by China and Germany. These tables track by country and institution the research published in 82 high-quality journals each year, counting both the total number of papers and the share of authorship of each paper.

The Nature Index Annual Tables show calendar year output in Nature Index journals for the last three years, and reveal the countries, institutions and companies that are leading the way in publishing high-quality global science. The Nature Index is compiled by Nature Research, part of Springer Nature, and forms part of Nature Research’s wider efforts to provide the research community with relevant information about the state of global science and publishing trends.

The leading international institutions in the 2018 tables are: the Chinese Academy of Sciences (1), Harvard University, US (2), Max Planck Society, Germany (3), French National Centre for Scientific Research (4), Stanford University, US (5), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US (6), Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Germany (7), The University of Tokyo, Japan (8), University of California Berkeley, US (9) University of Cambridge, UK and (10)  F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Switzerland, is the top performing corporate institution globally.


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Plant Direct: a new open access journal in the plant sciences

A new open access journal has just been launched that could be of interest when next considering where to submit your research papers.

Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has announced the launch of Plant Direct, a new open access journal published in collaboration with the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) and the Society for Experimental Biology (SEB).
Plant Direct is a new open access, sound science journal for the plant sciences that gives prompt and equal consideration to papers reporting work dealing with a variety of subjects. Topics include but are not limited to genetics, biochemistry, development, cell biology, biotic stress, abiotic stress, genomics, phenomics, bioinformatics, physiology, molecular biology, and evolution.

A collaborative journal launched by ASPB, SEB, and Wiley, Plant Direct publishes papers submitted directly to the journal as well as those referred from a select group of the societies’ journals.  Plant Direct’s website can be found here


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New publication reveals that farmers are the best source for conservation practices

How do we conserve the amazing diversity of tropical fruit trees in a way that brings benefits to the people who look after them? Why don’t we ask the farmers?

That’s exactly what the researchers and editors of the latest Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity book decided to do. They traveled across four Asian countries and extensively documented farmer-developed good practices for maintaining, marketing and safeguarding fruit tree species in the hopes of one day putting it all in writing for everyone to share.

The rather monumental cherry on top of their research*, Earthscan-published Tropical Fruit Tree Diversity: Good practices for in situ and on-farm conservation is now out. It outlines a framework for on-farm conservation, drawn from the real ways that communities and farmers implement conservation strategies through their everyday practices.

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Posted in Biodiversity, Bioversity staff research articles, Farmers, Food & Nutrition, Forestry, Genetic resources, Indigenous knowledge | Leave a comment

Bioversity International annual report 2015

Published today 23rd May 2016!

In the report you will find examples that show the impact of Bioversity International’s work on people’s lives on the ground in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our work is organized around three initiatives: ‘Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems’, ‘Productive and Resilient Farms, Forests and Landscapes’ and ‘Effective Genetic Resources Conservation and Use’.

The report also presents information about our Board of Trustees, funding and research partners, scientific publications and financial performance during 2015.

Read the Bioversity International Annual Report 2015

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Bioversity International Annual Report 2014

We are pleased to launch the Bioversity International 2014 Annual Report, available as an interactive digital publication and as a downloadable PDF. In the report, you will find highlights of our work in 2014 showing how research on agricultural and forest biodiversity can help achieve a sustainable future.

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Bioversity International dusts off plant genetic resources newsletters from the 1950s


Though no longer published, the Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter was one of Bioversity International’s flagship publications. It has a long history, starting as the Plant Introduction Newsletter in 1957 to the established publication we know today.

For many scientists in developing countries, the Newsletter served as one of the first journals  where they could publish peer-reviewed papers. For other scientists, it was one of the few peer-reviewed publications that specifically focused on plant genetic resource research.

It was the key publication that all Bioversity International scientists carried in their bags to conferences, meetings and workshops, and still is well received by researchers working in the plant genetic resources field.

For these reasons and many more, the Bioversity International Library felt it was important to make the full set of the Newsletter from its inception in 1957 to the last issue, no. 156 in 2008, available to all.  We began the project in late 2014 and we are extremely proud to have been an integral part in making the Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter available to the plant genetic resource research community.

Browse the 156 issues of the Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter

We acknowledge the kind permission of FAO for allowing us to reproduce the Plant Introduction Newsletter (no. 1-24) and the Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter (no. 25-32) of which they hold the copyright.

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