Over the next decades, agricultural production practices will change significantly and become more sustainable while they also respond to the need to contribute to reducing malnutrition and hunger and meeting the challenges of climate change. The enhanced use of agricultural biodiversity will play an essential role in this process, providing improved adaptability and resilience in agro-ecosystems. Plant genetic resources, a major component of agricultural biodiversity, play a key role in improving agricultural production and productivity. They are also essential to coping with climate change. As a result of climate change, increased efforts will be needed to conserve the diversity of crops and their wild relatives, and both in situ and ex situ conservation strategies will have to be adapted to meet changing environmental conditions and the need to secure biodiversity threatened by changing climate and altered production practices. Improved use of plant genetic resources will be essential, and this is likely to require increased national and international movements of resources to ensure that adapted germplasm is available to meet changing production environments. Greater emphasis will also need to be placed on evaluation for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and on properties such as adaptability, plasticity, and resilience, which can help maintain productivity under changing environmental conditions.
Journal of Crop Improvement. Volume 26, Issue 3, 2012
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