- An informational view of accession rarity and allele specificity in germplasm banks for management and conservation. Basically a better way of making cores.
- Multi-indicator sustainability assessment of global food systems. Thankfully includes both “Shannon Diversity of Food Supply” and “Food Production Diversity”. No sign of the Agrobiodiversity Index, though, alas.
- Cytoplasmic Diversity Studies in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.): A Review. Have the wild relatives to thank for it.
- Mosaic of Traditional and Modern Agriculture Systems for Enhancing Resilience. Refers specifically to rice irrigation systems, but could be generalizable, why not?
- Post-disaster agricultural transitions in Nepal. To cardamon, mainly.
- Simulating the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Crop Varietal Diversity in Mali (West-Africa) Using Agent-Based Modeling Approach. Less favourable and unstable climatic conditions lead to loss of diversity.
- Genetic Diversity in Argentine Andean Potatoes by Means of Functional Markers. There’s a small group of weird, interesting ones.
- Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers associated with high folate content in wild potato species. Ten-fold variation in content in in F2 population derived from cross between high folate diploid clone of wild Solanum boliviense and low/medium folate diploid S. tuberosum. Nice.
- Identification of new sources of resistance for pearl millet downy mildew disease under field conditions. 20 really good ones out of 101. Could have been worse.
- Assay of Genetic Architecture for Identification of Waterlogging Tolerant Pigeonpea Germplasm. 38 out of 128 survived. People are lucky this week.
- Phenotypic evaluation of a diversity panel selected from the world collection of sugarcane (Saccharum spp) and related grasses. Out of 300, 27 were higher than commercial standards in dry or fresh mass. On a roll here.
- Genotyping by Sequencing and Genome–Environment Associations in Wild Common Bean Predict Widespread Divergent Adaptation to Drought. Two genes identified. Let’s quit while we’re ahead. No, come on, let’s do another one.
- Tree genetic resources at risk in South America: A spatial threat assessment to prioritize populations for conservation. 7 of 80 socieconomically important trees threatened across their range. Damn.
— Simon Kuestenmacher (@simongerman600) March 9, 2018
Sounds like a cool idea, no?
Well, maybe not so much: “context is important.”
LATER: Or maybe not so bad after all?
Last week saw something of a Big Spatial Data blitz, and not just Kofi Annan’s Nature piece in which he pithily set out why data — both big and small — is important:
Data gaps undermine our ability to target resources, develop policies and track accountability. Without good data, we’re flying blind. If you can’t see it, you can’t solve it.
The occasion for the aphorism was a monumental study in the same journal on “Mapping child growth failure in Africa between 2000 and 2015,” which plotted various child heath and education variables over the entire African continent at the unbelievable resolution of 5×5 kilometres. Interestingly, other spatial data, this time on agricultural production and nutrient diversity (which we have blogged about), was used to explain patterns in child growth stunting. There was also a call in the correspondence section of Nature to “democratise” smallholders’ access to such data.
But that wasn’t all.
A study in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics on “Food Abundance and Violent Conflict in Africa” used a huge spatial dataset of population, agricultural production and conflict locations. It found that, contrary to expectation, “[a]lthough droughts can lead to violence, such as in urban areas; this was … not … the case for rural areas, where the majority of armed conflicts occurred where food crops were abundant.”
And, finally, there was “Winners and losers of national and global efforts to reconcile agricultural intensification and biodiversity conservation” in Global Change Biology. Unhelpfully titled, the more interesting finding of this study was that the “uneven spatial distribution of both yield gaps and [vertebrate] biodiversity provides opportunities for reconciling agricultural intensification and biodiversity conservation through spatially optimized intensification.”
Will all these pretty maps be used? Perhaps Lawrence Haddad said it best (not for the first time) in a tweet referring to the malnutrition study:
— Purnima Menon (@PMenonIFPRI) March 1, 2018
I’d add one thing. It’s probably too much to ask for “the powerful” to learn some GIS, but researchers could get better at helping them to bring together and explore disparate datasets such as these three in powerful, easy-to-use visualisations.
LATER: I forgot one: there’s also a new global dataset on evaporative stress index.
- The Value of the IUCN Red List for Business Decision-Making. It’s actually a two-way street.
- Phylogeny and source climate impact seed dormancy and germination of restoration-relevant forb species. Significant variation among population for 7 out of 8 species tested.
- An integrated framework to identify wildlife populations under threat from climate change. Brings together exposure to change, sensitivity to change and range shift potential to prioritize among 10 bat populations. Maybe more widely applicable.
- Winners and losers of national and global efforts to reconcile agricultural intensification and biodiversity conservation. Agricultural intensification leads to significant threats to vertebrate diversity, most of which can however be avoided by international cooperation; that being unlikely, national level optimization in 10 countries is next best.
- Buckwheat Germplasm in the World. Its time will surely come.
- Geographical and environmental determinants of the genetic structure of wild barley in southeastern Anatolia. More diverse, and different from the domesticate, with distinct W and E groups, and 4 loci possibly responsible for abiotic adaptation.
- Pedigree, marker recruitment, and genetic diversity of modern sugarcane cultivars in China and the United States. Not much diversity, especially in China.
- Species turnover promotes the importance of bee diversity for crop pollination at regional scales. Pollinator diversity is even more important than we thought.
- Comparing and contrasting threat assessments of plant species at the global and sub-global level. Most of the almost 90,000 assessments come from regional efforts, not global.
- Determination of Camellia oleifera Abel. Germplasm Resources of Genetic Diversity in China using ISSR Markers. Hunan is the place for diversity of this woody oil crop I never heard of.