Dams, damn dams, and accessions

Every once in a while a new dam dataset crops up. Dam, not damn. Well, maybe damn as well. Anyway, when that happens, I feel compelled to mash it up with accession locality data. Because if I don’t do it, who will?

The new dataset is the Global Dam Tracker, and you can download it and everything of course. It’s pretty easy to then upload it to Google Earth and play around with it. Including combining it with data on wild Oryza accessions from Genesys, for example.

On this map, the dams are shown in blue and wild rice accessions in red.

You can zoom in if you’re worried about the long-term in situ future of any given population.

Not for the first time, I wonder about the feasibility of one day automatically and in real time combining data from multiple potential stressors, including dams, to predict the risk of genetic erosion around the world. Something that AI should be able to do, surely?

Nibbles: CIAT, AGG, Volcani, Restoration, Food diversity, Deforestation, Berries, Diverse systems

  1. I’ve been told I need to be more explicit in my Nibbling. So here’s a CCTV video on the Future Seeds genebank in Colombia. You know the one.
  2. The Australian Grains Genebank (AGG) in Horsham is announcing a new online seed catalogue. The genebank is also on Genesys.
  3. According to this article, the Israel Plant Gene Bank of the Volcani Center Agricultural Research Organization near Tel Aviv has some pretty cool wheats. I wonder if any of them are also in the AGG. The Volcani genebank is not on Genesys, alas. But some of its material is.
  4. The Director of Science of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and others say that we need lots more genebanks if we are to do all the ecosystem restoration that needs to be done around the world.
  5. Short & sweet blog post on the importance of food diversity from the policy officer at the Soil Association. Genebanks not mentioned though, alas.
  6. Vox has an article on a new European law aimed at preventing the sale of some agricultural commodities grown on recently cleared forest land. I guess the next step would be restoring those ecosystems. If only there were more genebanks…
  7. Some hero mapped the distribution of all the berries of North America, and made cool videos of the results.
  8. Report from Wageningen AU on “The need to enhance crop, livestock andaquatic genetic diversity in food systems.” Lots and lots on genebanks.
  9. So, what did you think? Do you prefer telegraphic, impressionistic Nibbles, or these lengthier, more explicit versions? Let me know in the comments.

Liberating seeds — and climate matching tools

I hit “publish” too soon yesterday. If I had waited a couple of hours, I could have done a deeper dive into how Jeremy spent his holidays, by adding his just-dropped podcast on the “Let’s Liberate Diversity” Forum held in Budapest back in October to his last newsletter of 2022.

In the podcast, Jeremy muses on the new EU Organic Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/848), which finally allows the marketing of organic heterogeneous material (OHM), and interviews two beneficiaries of this welcome change in the law. Spoiler alert: Belgian beer is being re-Belgianized, and everybody seems very happy about it.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in doing the kind of climate matching Jeremy mentions in his third note, you could check out this website, though it only covers Europe. If you want global coverage, you might have to brush up on your R.1

  1. Thanks, Julian. []

Nibbles: Fancy fungus, Fancy CWR book, Fancy dataset, Fancy food, Fancy wheat collection, Fancy diet, Fancy seeds, Fancy agriculture

  1. Symbiotic fungus can help plants and detoxify methylmercury.
  2. Very attractive book on the wild tomatoes of Peru. I wonder if any of them eat heavy metals.
  3. There’s a new dataset on the world’s terrestrial ecosystems. I’d like to know which one has the most crop wild relative species per unit area. Has anyone done that calculation? They must have.
  4. Iran sets up a saffron genebank. Could have sworn they already had one.
  5. The Natural History Museum digs up some old wheat samples, the BBC goes a bit crazy with it.
  6. Paleolithic diets included plants. Maybe not wheat or saffron though.
  7. Community seedbanks are all the rage in Odisha.
  8. Seeds bring UK and South Africa closer together. Seeds in seedbanks. Not community seedbanks, perhaps, but one can hope.
  9. Can any of the above make agriculture any more nutrition-sensitive? I’d like to think yes. Maybe except for the mercury-eating fungus, though you never know…

Brainfood: Coconut in vitro, Clean cryo, Chickpea & lentil collections, Genebank data history, Eurisco update, Mining genebank data, TIK, Sampling strategy, Drones, GIS, Mexican CWR, Post-2020 biodiversity framework