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Forest genetic resources and farmers’ tree domestication. Presented at regional workshop on Learning agrobiodiodiversity: options for universities in Sub-Saharan Africa - Nairobi 21-23 January 2009 Ramni Jamnadass, Ian Dawson, Roger Leakey, Roeland Kindt Jonathan Muriuki , Jan Beniest
Presented at regional workshop on Learning agrobiodiodiversity:
options for universities in Sub-Saharan Africa - Nairobi 21-23 January 2009
Ramni Jamnadass, Ian Dawson,
Roger Leakey, Roeland Kindt
Jonathan Muriuki , Jan Beniest
ECOSYSTEM DEGRADATIONAND SOIL EROSION
UnsustainableBreakdown of nutrientcycling
Croppingand loss of soil fertility/structure
LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY
Loss of income from
wildlife and plantsBreakdown of ecosystem functionIncreased transport
Loss of income from cropsof nitrates to water table
Loss of crop yields
Malnutrition Increased health risks
External issuesWhat are the big social, economic and environmental issues in the world?
There is not a simple answer.
Natural ecosystems progress from a ‘pioneer’ stage to ecological maturity. Likewise each phase of an agroecological succession will be more biodiverse, as the planted trees, crops (the planned biodiversity) and introduction of livestock/poultry/fish etc are enriched by the unplanned biodiversity, made up of all those organisms, above and below ground, that find niches to fill among the plants and animals.
Agroforestry contributes towards diversification to create mature or ‘climax’ agroecosystems
1. Agroforestry is the integration of trees into the farming system that provide a wide range of products and environmental services:
2. It is developing this mixed farming
system so that it becomes more productive and generates income and employment opportunities, so that the household livelihoods are restored.This can be achieved by domesticating trees for agroforestry.
…is uniquely suited to address the requirement for increased food security and biomass resources, and the need to sustainably manage agricultural landscapes for the critical ecosystem services they provide.
Trees are found in three places
Need for domestication?
Domesticating agroforestry trees involves accelerated and human-induced evolution to bring species into wider cultivation through a farmer-driven or market-led process. This is a science-based and iterative procedure involving the identification, production, management and adoption of high quality germplasm. High quality germplasm in agroforestry incorporates dimensions of productivity, fitness of purpose, viability and diversity. In tandem with species strategies are approaches to domesticatelandscapes by investigating and modifying the uses, values, interspecific diversity, ecological functions, numbers and niches of both planted and naturally regenerated trees.
A. Trees for Products
B. Trees for Services
(and alternate species)
(Bot. Nom. Dbase)
(Tree Seed Suppliers Directory)
(e.g. TSSD, DD, NGOs)
IPR, Access, Exchange & Benefit Sharing
- repro. ecology
- genetic variation
- top working
- fruit set
- reprod. ecology
What do we know about genetic variation in tropical trees in agroforestry systems, and how do we link this to action for enhanced livelihoods and improved conservation?
Practical and conceptual problems in gaining information on genetic variation in tree species in farm landscapes include:
This is related to the persistence of trees in landscapes, meaning that it can be too late to intervene by the time the problem is recognised
Theinstitutional frameworks within which researchers work rarely support the team-based approaches needed to assess variation and apply knowledge. For agroforestry, the situation is acute, as ‘forestry’ and ‘agriculture’ are traditionally considered as discrete schools of research that should be treated/taught separately
Genetic variation may be difficult to measure and important diversity may be ‘cryptic’
A very large number of tree species are found in agroforestry systems, and comprehensive analysis of genetic variation in all taxa is impractical. Is the concept of ‘model’ species relevant?
Recent advances have been made in both direct and indirect research approaches for measuring genetic diversity in trees (These methods are described in various papers)
For direct methods
Based on the types of approaches to research described above, it is observed that many trees species are (These results are documented in various papers that can be provided):
All points suggest that the effective population sizes – and therefore sustainability and productivity – of tree species in farm landscapes are on the decline, though this will depend on the functional use of species (more serious for some categories than others).
Current state of knowledge indicates that a range of germplasm-access based interventions is necessary to improve existing management practices, including:
Equally necessary, but more difficult to address, is the development of market structures that support genetic diversity in tropical tree species. Measures suggested include the development of niche markets that support a range of variation within a species (possibly using a ‘Denomination of Origin’ type approach).
The just concluded SII/World Agroforestry Centre project ‘Advancing Agroforestry Research and Development through Training and Education’, supported by The Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had 20 courses for training of trainers
This course was about enabling African scientists to more effectively deploy molecular genetic markers to the field management of tree species. It was about making the linkage between technical knowledge and ground application in the context of emerging challenges to agriculture
Most notable are the following:
Tree Seeds for Farmers: A Toolkit and Reference Source (ICRAF)
Describes the technical methods involved in supplying tree seed and
seedlings to farmers. Describes how to go about making seed and seedling
production a commercial concern (Roeland Kindt)
Tree Seed Education at Agricultural and Forestry Colleges in Eastern and Southern Africa (FAO, ANAFE)
Describes a possible further education curriculum on the topic (written by
Christine Holding and August Temu, among others),
Training in Agroforestry: A toolkit for Trainers (ICRAF)
Describes the relevant methods for teaching agroforestry
common statistical methods for ecological and
biodiversity studies (ICRAF)
Describes how to do various statistical analyses of biodiversity data
(manual and CD-ROM put together by Roeland Kindt)
Molecular Markers for Tropical Trees: A Practical Guide
to Principles and Procedures
Description of molecular methods, protocols, and relevance for trees,
(Alice Muchugi, et al)
Indigenous Fruit Trees in the Tropics: Domestication,
Utilization and Commercialization (ICRAF and CABI)
Describes the current state of knowledge on indigenous fruit tree