, 2013) and research on temperate trees indicates that high genetic variation helps support ecosystem functions (Whitham et al., 2006). When out-crossing indigenous trees exist only at very low densities in farmland, however, as is often the case when they are remnants from selleck screening library natural forest otherwise cleared for crop planting (Lengkeek et al., 2005), they are vulnerable to the absence of neighbours in the landscape to support pollination, reducing the opportunities for reproduction and potentially leading to lower seed set and inbreeding depression (Lowe et al., 2005). This is a particular
concern for trees that provide fruit for human consumption, as no cross-pollination/the absence of fruit set may mean there is no reason for farmers to retain these trees in the agricultural landscape (Dawson et al., 2009). In the worst case scenario, rare, isolated trees in farm landscapes may be the ‘living dead’ (sensu Janzen, 1986; i.e., unable to pollinate and set seed) and will only survive for the current generation. Some have argued that further promoting tree domestication has negative impacts for the diversity of agricultural landscapes at both inter- and intra-specific levels, and this is most clearly seen if it leads to clonal tree monocultures (see Section 4.3). On the other hand, without the improvements in tree yield and quality associated with domestication, farmers may choose
not to plant trees at all on their land, but to cultivate other plants that are (otherwise) more productive (Sunderland, 2011). At an intra-specific level, domestication processes always cause shifts and/or losses in underlying genetic buy GW-572016 diversity in the manipulated populations (Dawson et al., 2009), but the extent and nature of these changes depends on the domestication method adopted, with some approaches more favourable for maintaining diversity (Cornelius et al., 2006). The participatory domestication approach (Appendix B, Cediranib (AZD2171) Section 3.2), which is based on bringing selected indigenous trees from local wild stands into farms, appears to provide a good balance between farm-level productivity gains and the landscape-level conservation of genetic
resources (Leakey, 2010). Genetic-model analysis of a participatory domestication project with peach palm in Peru, for example, showed that the risk of genetic erosion in a regional context was low (Cornelius et al., 2006). The wide use of clonal propagation methods during participatory domestication could, however, cause longer-term challenges for intra-specific diversity, especially if substantial inter-village germplasm exchange occurs (expansion of a few clones). Tree commodity crops represent something of an exception to the sparse information available on the value of other tree products (as exemplified in Sections 2 and 3), as export data are compiled widely by national governments and are further assembled by FAO’s Statistics Division (FAOSTAT, 2013).