Special Issue "North American Native Food Crops"
A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)
Prof. Francis Drummond
Professor of Insect Ecology and Insect Pest Management and Blueberry, Extension Pollination Specialist, School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, USA
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Interests: wild blueberry, pollination, genetics, ecology, pest ecology, simulation modeling, statistics, plant physiological ecology
North American native plants cultivated as food crops are represented by more than 100 plant species belonging to several taxonomic families. Several berry species in the Ericaceae, such as lowbush blueberry, highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, and cranberry, and other berry and small fruit species, such as black raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, prickly pear, Concord grape, and several others, are grown in regions of their origin and neighboring areas of North America. Other North American food crops are represented by a few fruit tree species, such as American elderberry, black cherry, desert apricot, and others, nut species, such as walnuts, hickory nuts, and pecans, vegetable species in the Cucurbitaceae, such as cucumbers, squashes, and pumpkins, other vegetables, such as tomatoes, lima beans, chili peppers, corn, avocado, and many others, and a few grains, such as amaranth and corn.
These food crop systems are special in North America because many species have adapted to the climates and ecosystems that they are grown in. Most species have been improved for food production through breeding, but some are still wild genetic resources representing genotypes that differ little from plant populations that are not cultivated. Some of the still unanswered questions are: 1) Do native crop plants offer a more resilient response to climate change than crops from other continents? 2) Are native crop plants more tolerant of pest communities, having undergone long-term co-evolutionary interactions with these organisms? 3) Are pollination and reproductive biology of native plants different from those of non-native crop plants imbedded within a non-adapted landscape?
This Special Issue will address some of these questions and others, allowing agricultural researchers to compare and highlight the differences between native and non-native crop plants cultivated in North America.
Prof. Francis Drummond
Manuscript Submission Information
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- North American
- food plants
- land races