Climate change and crop wild relatives: can species track their suitable environment and what do they lose in the process

Cobben, M.M.P.; Treuren, R. van; Hintum, T.J.L. van


Crop wild relatives are an increasingly important source of plant genetic resources for plant breeders. Several studies have estimated the effects of climate change on the distribution of crop wild relatives, using species distribution models. In this approach, two important aspects, i.e. species' dispersal capacity and founder effects, are currently not taken into account. Neglecting these aspects can lead to an underestimation of the climate change-induced threat to the size of the species range and the conservation of range-wide levels of genetic diversity. This paper presents two recommendations for the interpretation of the results obtained with these models. The integration of process-based simulation models and statistical species distribution models will facilitate the inclusion of dispersal processes and founder effects in future assessments of the resilience of plant genetic resources under climate change.