Landraces are repository of gene pool that enrich biodiversity and maintain and stabilize ecosystem in a sustainable way to make it functional. Cultivation of traditional crops in different regions of the world, aside maintaining biodiversity in agriculture, also avails humanity of regulatory services such as nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, control of soil erosion, reduction of greenhouse gas emission and control of hydrological processes. However, man through over-exploitation of some plant species with utter neglect to some other either deliberately or otherwise through modern agricultural systems that promote cultivation of a few high-input and high-yielding crop species caused disaffection to biodiversity with consequences of reduction in its regulatory services. In this chapter, different landraces of crops are examined, their usefulness in the maintenance of genetic diversity is explored, and implications of their depletion are discussed.
Part of the book: Rediscovery of Landraces as a Resource for the Future