Flexible farming preserves potato diversity… for now

A detailed survey of mountain communities in Peru has revealed that farmers are adjusting to the pressures of climate change and population growth in complex ways that take full advantage of the adaptability of their main crop, the potato. Nevertheless, researchers warn that “the plasticity shown by the potato and the adaptability of smallholder cultivation systems do not necessarily confer them resilience into the future”. Many landraces are extremely scarce, and important diversity is threatened as it is pushed higher up the slopes, where agriculture confronts extreme abiotic stresses such as hails and frosts.
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