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Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide

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ABSTRACT

Research into the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. Here we determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries worldwide. We estimate the degree to which countries use crops from regions of diversity other than their own (‘foreign crops’), and quantify changes in this usage over the past 50 years. Countries are highly interconnected with regard to primary regions of diversity of the crops they cultivate and/or consume. Foreign crops are extensively used in food supplies (68.7% of national food supplies as a global mean are derived from foreign crops) and production systems (69.3% of crops grown are foreign). Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange.

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Change in use of foreign crops in (a) national food supplies from 1961 to 2009, and (b) national agricultural production from 1961 to 2011. Lines represent change over time for each country in each year for each variable. Transparent ribbons represent modelled mean change across all countries (± 95% credible interval). See electronic supplementary material, figure S8 for world maps displaying slopes of change in foreign crop usage per country for all measured food supply and production variables.
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RSPB20160792F4: Change in use of foreign crops in (a) national food supplies from 1961 to 2009, and (b) national agricultural production from 1961 to 2011. Lines represent change over time for each country in each year for each variable. Transparent ribbons represent modelled mean change across all countries (± 95% credible interval). See electronic supplementary material, figure S8 for world maps displaying slopes of change in foreign crop usage per country for all measured food supply and production variables.

Mentions: Use of foreign crops by countries increased significantly as a global mean for all food supply and agricultural production variables over the past half-century (figure 4; see electronic supplementary material, tables S7–8 for values per country per year). Foreign crop use with regard to calories increased from 62.2% ± 2.4 to 67.8% ± 2.0, protein from 62.9% ± 2.6 to 68.5% ± 2.2, fat from 63.8% ± 2.3 to 75.5% ± 1.8 and food weight from 65.1% ± 1.9 to 70.2% ± 1.6 from 1961 to 2009, averaged across countries worldwide. Likewise, foreign crop cultivation in terms of production quantity increased from 64.2% ± 2.2 to 69.5% ± 2.0, harvested area from 59.2% ± 2.5 to 62.4% ± 2.3 and production value from 65.4% ± 2.6 to 71.9% ± 2.1 between 1961 and 2011.Figure 4.


Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide
Change in use of foreign crops in (a) national food supplies from 1961 to 2009, and (b) national agricultural production from 1961 to 2011. Lines represent change over time for each country in each year for each variable. Transparent ribbons represent modelled mean change across all countries (± 95% credible interval). See electronic supplementary material, figure S8 for world maps displaying slopes of change in foreign crop usage per country for all measured food supply and production variables.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4920324&req=5

RSPB20160792F4: Change in use of foreign crops in (a) national food supplies from 1961 to 2009, and (b) national agricultural production from 1961 to 2011. Lines represent change over time for each country in each year for each variable. Transparent ribbons represent modelled mean change across all countries (± 95% credible interval). See electronic supplementary material, figure S8 for world maps displaying slopes of change in foreign crop usage per country for all measured food supply and production variables.
Mentions: Use of foreign crops by countries increased significantly as a global mean for all food supply and agricultural production variables over the past half-century (figure 4; see electronic supplementary material, tables S7–8 for values per country per year). Foreign crop use with regard to calories increased from 62.2% ± 2.4 to 67.8% ± 2.0, protein from 62.9% ± 2.6 to 68.5% ± 2.2, fat from 63.8% ± 2.3 to 75.5% ± 1.8 and food weight from 65.1% ± 1.9 to 70.2% ± 1.6 from 1961 to 2009, averaged across countries worldwide. Likewise, foreign crop cultivation in terms of production quantity increased from 64.2% ± 2.2 to 69.5% ± 2.0, harvested area from 59.2% ± 2.5 to 62.4% ± 2.3 and production value from 65.4% ± 2.6 to 71.9% ± 2.1 between 1961 and 2011.Figure 4.

View Article: PubMed Central

ABSTRACT

Research into the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. Here we determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries worldwide. We estimate the degree to which countries use crops from regions of diversity other than their own (‘foreign crops’), and quantify changes in this usage over the past 50 years. Countries are highly interconnected with regard to primary regions of diversity of the crops they cultivate and/or consume. Foreign crops are extensively used in food supplies (68.7% of national food supplies as a global mean are derived from foreign crops) and production systems (69.3% of crops grown are foreign). Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus