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Farmers' BountyLocating Crop Diversity in the Contemporary World$
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Stephen B. Brush

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100495

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100495.001.0001

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The Ecology of Crop Diversity

The Ecology of Crop Diversity

(p.175) 8 The Ecology of Crop Diversity
Farmers' Bounty

Stephen B. Brush

Yale University Press

This chapter, which discusses problems on genetic erosion and offers a theoretical framework to improve understanding of genetic erosion, suggests two ecological models that might serve to generate more robust crop ecology. Modern niche theory and metapopulation analysis offer numerous insights and advantages to efforts to understand genetic erosion. A shared insight is that general population processes, such as genetic erosion, are affected by environmental heterogeneity. Modern niche theory and metapopulation analysis provide a middle ground between general theory and site specificity. The chapter discusses how the application of formal population models to crops presents daunting challenges—to define key variables and specify functional relationships. The need to include both biological and social variables and functional relationships is particularly difficult to satisfy.

Keywords:   genetic erosion, ecological models, crop ecology, niche theory, metapopulation analysis

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