The crazed climate threatens the survival of potatoes, vanilla, cotton, avocado. According to a study published in the journal Plants, people, planet some of the “wild relatives” of the world’s most important crops are at risk of extinction due to extreme weather events, intensive farming and related pesticide abuse. First red alert for vanilla: as it also explains Republic “none of the 8 wild varieties of this orchid native to South and Central America are safe.” In the list compiled by researchers in second place, wild cotton also stands out, with 92% of the species that could disappear in the coming years. As well as three types of avocado out of 5 and 23% of potatoes.
The research studied specific habitats: Messico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, where those plants then domesticated were fundamental for thePower supply andclothing of local peoples. Large-scale farming uses wild production as “spare genetic material“, also useful for improving quality, the resistence and the productivity of the cultivated raw materials. This is why the disappearance of wild relatives could cause serious harm to humans. Moreover, the study continues, the climate crisis could also deprive us of wild species of beans, pumpkin, chilli, tomatoes, bananas, apples, plums e ginger.
All this in a context in which the rise in temperatures is drastically changing the trend of harvests. “The planet is warming – he explains to the British newspaper Guardian Barbara Goettsch, first author of the research -, soil salinity changes, parasites evolve and cultivated plants struggle to adapt. If even the wild correspondents are not doing well, we will have to give up many products “.