Agricultural biodiversity loss over a ten-year period from home garden agroecosystems, Kyrgyz Republic, Central Asia

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 14:30
, Robin - Green Mountain College

The results of a ten-year longitudinal study of agricultural diversity in home gardens of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) are reported. The temperate home gardens of Kyrgyzstan are species diverse (24 edible plant species per home garden at baseline) and offer unique opportunities for in situ conservation due to an abundance of crop wild relatives in the fruit and nut forests, the Tian Shan Mountains and the Ferghana Valley. Understanding the rate at which biodiversity is lost or conserved from actively managed home gardens is important for in situ conservation efforts.  Edible plant diversity and factors that might influence management practices in home garden agricultural systems were surveyed by using interviews, structured survey instruments and full agroecosystem mapping.  On average, cultivated fruit tree species diversity and also variety diversity declined over the last decade in home garden agroecosystems.