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Biodiversity in Agriculture: Domestication, Evolution, and Sustainability

Edited By: Paul Gepts

606 pages, 11 colour & 111 b/w illustrations, 34 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Feb 2012 | #194130 | ISBN-13: 9780521170871
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £50.99 $62/€57 approx
Hardback | Feb 2012 | #194131 | ISBN-13: 9780521764599
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £103.00 $126/€116 approx

About this book

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.


List of contributors
Foreword Bruce D. Smith
Introduction. The domestication of plants and animals: ten unanswered questions Paul Gepts, Robert Bettinger, Stephen Brush, Ardeshir Damania, Thomas Famula, Patrick McGuire and Calvin Qualset

1. The local origins of domestication Jared Diamond

Part I. Early Steps in Agricultural Domestication: 2. Evolution of agro-ecosystems: biodiversity, origins and differential development David R. Harris
3. From foraging to farming in western and eastern Asia Ofer Bar-Yosef
4. Predomestic cultivation during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene in the Northern Levant George Willcox
5. New archaeobotanical information on plant domestication from macro-remains: tracking the evolution of domestication syndrome traits Dorian Q. Fuller
6. New archaeobotanical information on early cultivation and plant domestication involving microplant remains Dolores R. Piperno
7. How and why did agriculture spread? Peter Bellwood
8. California Indian proto-agriculture: its characterization and legacy M. Kat Anderson and Eric Wohlgemuth

Part II. Domestication of Animals and Impacts on Humans: 9. Pathways to animal domestication Melinda A. Zeder
10. Genetics of animal domestication Leif Andersson
11. Genome-wide approaches for the study of dog domestication Bridgett M. vonHoldt, Melissa M. Gray and Robert K. Wayne
12. Malaria and rickets represent selective forces for the convergent evolution of adult lactase persistence Loren Cordain, Mathew S. Hickley and Kami Kim

Part III. Issues in Plant Domestication: 13. The dynamics of rice domestication: a balance between gene flow and genetic isolation Susan R. McCouch, Michael J. Kovach, Megan Sweeney, Hui Jiang and Mande Semon 14. Domestication of lima beans: a new look at an old problem M. I. Chac#n S., J. R. Motta-Aldana, M. L. Serrano S. and D. G. Debouck
15. Genetic characterization of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) and yam (Dioscorea trifida L.) landraces in swidden agriculture systems in Brazil Elizabeth A. Veasey, Eduardo A. Bressan, Marcos V. B. M. Siqueira, Aline Borges, Jurema R. Queiroz-Silva, Kayo J. C. Pereira, Gustavo H. Recchia and Lin Chau Ming
16. Pigeonpea - from an orphan to a leader in food legumes C. L. Laxmipathi Gowda, K. B. Saxena, R. K. Srivastava, H. D. Upadhyaya and S. N. Silim

Part IV. Traditional Management of Biodiversity: 17. Ecological approaches to crop domestication D. B. McKey, M. Elias, B. Pujol and A. Duputi#
18. Agrobiodiversity shifts on three continents since Vavilov and Harlan: assessing causes, processes and implications for food security Gary Paul Nabhan, Ken Wilson, Ogonazar Aknazarov, Karim-Aly Kassam, Laurie Monti, David Cavagnaro, Shawn Kelly, Tai Johnson and Ferrell Sekacucu
19. Indigenous peoples conserving, managing, and creating biodiversity Jan Salick
20. Land architecture in the Maya lowlands: implications for sustainability B. L. Turner II and Deborah Lawrence
21. Agrobiodiversity and water resources in agricultural landscape evolution (Andean Valley irrigation, Bolivia, 1986 to 2008) Karl S. Zimmerer

Part V. Uses of Biodiversity and New and Future Domestications: 22. Participatory domestication of indigenous fruit and nut trees: new crops for sustainable agriculture in developing countries Roger R. B. Leakey 23. The introduction and dispersal of Vitis vinifera into California: a case study of the interaction of man, plants, economics, and environment James Lapsley
24. Genetic resources of yeast and other micro-organisms Charles W. Bamforth
25. Biodiversity of native bees and crop pollination with emphasis on California Robbin W. Thorp
26. Aquaculture, the next wave of domestication Dennis Hedgecock
27. Genetic sustainability and biodiversity: challenges to the California dairy industry Juan F. Medrano


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Paul Gepts is Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis.

Thomas R. Famula is Professor of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis.

Robert L. Bettinger is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis.

Stephen B. Brush is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis.

Ardeshir B. Damania is an Associate in the Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis.

Patrick E. McGuire is Academic Coordinator in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis.

Calvin O. Qualset is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis.

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