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Ref ID: 19971
Ref Type: Book
Authors: Smith, Nigel J. H.
Williams, J. T.
Plucknett, Donald L.
Talbot, Jennifer P.
Title: Tropical forests and their crops
Date: 1992
Place of Publication: Ithaca, New York
Publisher: Comstock Publishing Associates
Notes: Description: We have become increasingly aware that tropical forests are rapidly being destroyed. This book stresses a compelling aspect of the crisis: the dangers of losing rich pools of potentially useful genes. Wild populations of crop plants harbor genes that can improve the productivity and disease resistance of cultivated crops, many of which are vital to Third World economies and to international commerce. The vast plantations of coffee, for example, represent very limited parts of the crop's gene pool, and thus are vulnerable to widespread destruction by pests and disease. Wild coffee plants in certain tropical forests contain genes that could strengthen this shaky germplasm base. To illustrate the contribution of tropical forests to agriculture, the authors devote eight chapters to descriptions of a variety of crops—beverages, fruit, starch, oil, resins, fuelwood, fodder, spices, timber, and nuts. They survey how each crop came to be domesticated, how it is used today, and where it is grown.
Date Created: 4/20/2015
Page End: 568