You may remember my recent nibble on assisted migration. I also sent the link to the CropWildRelatives discussion group, which elicited this response from Nigel Maxted at the University of Birmingham:
This is indeed an interesting question. My first reaction was that it was a purely academic exercise that will do little to benefit overall biodiversity and probably could not be applied for a wide range of species even if this were economically and practically feasible. It might even do harm because government might use research like this to play down the impact of climate change and avoid the necessity of taking harsh economic decisions. This may well be the case, but for the key 500-700 globally important CWR I do think this is the sort of research we should enacting now. These critical 500-700 species will be so vital to future food security, not least to combating climate change itself, that we need to ensure that they are allowed to continue evolving in situ in the changing environment and make doubly sure we have these species’ genetic diversity adequately conserved ex situ. The research need not focus on the entire 500-700 CWR but could be passed through a modeled climate change impact filter first to identify those species most likely to be impacted in the short term and most likely to be successful in transposition. Perhaps as a community the time is right to systematically address this issue.