Biodiversity in Agriculture: Domestication, Evolution, and Sustainability

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-26
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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The introduction of plant and animal agriculture represents one of the most important milestones in human evolution. It contributed to the development of cities, alphabets, new technologies, and ultimately to civilizations, but it has also presented a threat to both human health and the environment. Bringing together research from a range of fields including anthropology, archaeology, ecology, economics, entomology, ethnobiology, genetics and geography, this book addresses key questions relating to agriculture. Why did agriculture develop and where did it originate? What are the patterns of domestication for plants and animals? How did agroecosystems originate and spread from their locations of origin? Exploring the cultural aspects of the development of agricultural ecosystems, the book also highlights how these topics can be applied to our understanding of contemporary agriculture, its long-term sustainability, the co-existence of agriculture and the environment, and the development of new crops and varieties.

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Introduction. The domestication of plants and animals: ten unanswered questions
The local origins of domestication
Early Steps in Agricultural Domestication:
Evolution of agro-ecosystems: biodiversity, origins and differential development
From foraging to farming in western and eastern Asia Ofer Bar-Yosef
Predomestic cultivation during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene in the Northern
New archaeobotanical information on plant domestication from macro-remains: tracking the evolution of domestication syndrome traits
New archaeobotanical information on early cultivation and plant domestication involving microplant remains
How and why did agriculture spread?
California Indian proto-agriculture: its characterization and legacy
Domestication of Animals and Impacts on Humans:
Pathways to animal domestication
Genetics of animal domestication
Genome-wide approaches for the study of dog domestication
Malaria and rickets represent selective forces for the convergent evolution of adult lactase persistence
Issues in Plant Domestication:
The dynamics of rice domestication: a balance between gene flow and genetic isolation
Domestication of lima beans: a new look at an old problem
Genetic characterization of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) and yam (Dioscorea trifida L.) landraces in swidden agriculture systems in Brazil
Pigeonpea - from an orphan to a leader in food legumes
Traditional Management of Biodiversity:
Ecological approaches to crop domestication
Agrobiodiversity shifts on three continents since Vavilov and Harlan: assessing causes, processes and implications for food security
Indigenous peoples conserving, managing, and creating biodiversity
Land architecture in the Maya lowlands: implications for sustainability
Agrobiodiversity and water resources in agricultural landscape evolution (Andean Valley irrigation, Bolivia, 1986 to 2008)
Uses of Biodiversity and New and Future Domestications:
Participatory domestication of indigenous fruit and nut trees: new crops for sustainable agriculture in developing countries
The introduction and dispersal of Vitis vinifera into California: a case study of the interaction of man, plants, economics, and environment
Genetic resources of yeast and other micro-organisms
Biodiversity of native bees and crop pollination with emphasis on California
Aquaculture, the next wave of domestication
Genetic sustainability and biodiversity: challenges to the California dairy industry
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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