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Open AccessArticle

Addressing the Role of Landraces in the Sustainability of Mediterranean Agroecosystems

1
Agroecosystem History Laboratory, University Pablo de Olavide, 41013, Seville, Spain
2
CEAOAO & CEAC Tierra, Department of Animal Biology, Vegetal Biology and Ecology, University of Jaén, Jaen 23009, Spain
3
CEIGRAM-ETSIAAB, Technical University of Madrid (UPM), Madrid, 28040, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6029; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216029
Received: 7 September 2019 / Revised: 7 October 2019 / Accepted: 23 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Resources for Sustainable Agriculture)
Wheat yields are predicted to decrease over the next decades due to climate change (CC). Mediterranean regions are characterized by low soil fertility and stressful conditions that limit the effect of technological improvements on increasing yield gains, while worsening the negative CC impacts. Additionally, organic farming (OF) lacks specifically adapted genetic material. Accordingly, there is a need to search for varieties adapted to these conditions and whose cultivation may help semi-arid agroecosystems sustainability, focusing on specific agronomic and functional traits. To this purpose, wheat landraces and modern wheat varieties were evaluated under Mediterranean rainfed conditions during three growing seasons under contrasting situations: A conventional farm and an organic farm. Results regarding straw production, weed biomass and biodiversity, and grain N concentration suggest that the cultivation of landraces under Mediterranean rainfed conditions can enhance agroecosystem sustainability through positive effects on ecosystem services such as soil quality, functional biodiversity, or grain protein content, without significant reductions in grain yield. Results highlight the relevant role of wheat landraces as genetic resources for the development of cultivars adapted to Mediterranean agroecosystems conditions, especially for organic farming, but also for conventional agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: semi-arid; cereal landraces; ecosystem services; biodiversity; organic farming semi-arid; cereal landraces; ecosystem services; biodiversity; organic farming
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Carranza-Gallego, G.; Guzmán, G.I.; Garcia-Ruíz, R.; González de Molina, M.; Aguilera, E. Addressing the Role of Landraces in the Sustainability of Mediterranean Agroecosystems. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6029.

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