Rising temperatures have affected crops from around the world, raising concerns about food insecurity and famine in some areas,media reported. While much of the research has focused on large cereal crops, a new study warns that climate change is also threatening the wild variety of cultivated vegetables that are most commonly eaten by humans.
Most of these plants are not stored in the gene pool, which means they are at risk of dying in large numbers due to environmental changes.
The temperature rise behind climate change, while not obvious, does have a significant impact on many crops. Small changes in the climate of a region can have a significant impact on their agricultural activities, and the impact on organisms such as wild mushrooms and microorganisms is less pronounced, but it is equally worrying.
Vegetables produced and sold to consumers by farmers are called cultivated vegetables — they are cultivated versions of wild vegetables that are cultivated according to market demand. Usually, people don’t eat wild vegetables, but the latter are essential for growing new varieties of vegetables.
A new study by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) warns that many poorly preserved wild plant species are at risk of extinction because of climate change and other reasons. If the plant is not carefully preserved into the gene pool, its extinction will mean it will disappear forever, which will reduce the human option to grow new vegetables.
The researchers point out that these wild vegetables receive relatively little attention and protection compared to cereal crops, which is a problem — human health depends on them. In response, the researchers called for efforts to protect these important plants in the gene pool in addition to protecting the natural habitat of crops.