CWR In Situ Strategy Helpdesk

Trifolium rubens by Gabor Vörösváry

A step-wise methodology for identifying CWR genetic reserve sites for a target crop gene pool


The intention of this step-wise crop gene pool methodology is to help facilitate the development of CWR in situ conservation strategies on a taxon-specific, or monographic basis. The methodology therefore applies specifically to target crop gene pools and is designed to identify in situ genetic reserve sites for the conservation of priority species within the target gene pool. The methodology can be applied at any geographic scale—national, regional or global.

The methodology is built on those proposed by Maxted et al. (2007, in prep.) and Maxted and Kell (2009), which address both national (or floristic) and global (or monographic) approaches to CWR conservation. A methodology for the development of national (floristic) CWR in situ conservation strategies is also included in this helpdesk.

This is a generic methodology intended for application to any crop gene pool, but it may be necessary to adjust parts of the methodology according to the specific biological, ecological and geographical attributes of individual crop complexes.

The end point of this methodology is the identification of ‘ideal’ CWR genetic reserve (GR) sites.  The political and legal steps that need to be taken beyond this point to establish the GRs are not part of this methodology.  The next step beyond the methodology for identification of GRs is to make recommendations for site and population management.

There are four basic steps in the methodology:

  1. Taxon delineation
  2. Selection of target taxa
  3. Ecogeographic diversity analysis
  4. Selection of target sites

Click on the links above to follow each of the four steps.

Helpdesk references