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June 22 , 2010

Plant Resources for Food, Fuel and Conservation


Agriculture and food production have a large footprint on the landscape globally and compete for space with land for nature conservation. This book explores the competition between the food needs of a growing human population and the conservation of biodiversity as intensified by the emerging use of crops for energy production. As concern about the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on climate grows and oil prices increase, energy production from agricultural crops has become a significant industry. At the same time, growth in food demand due to population growth has been accelerated by growing affluence associated with economic growth in major developing countries increasing per capita consumption. Consumers are concerned that the price of food will continue to increase sharply as a result of this competition but a loss of biodiversity may be another major outcome. Drawing on his expertise in plant conservation genetics, the author provides a balanced appraisal of the potential for developing new or improved crops for food or bioenergy production in the context of climate change, while at the same time protecting biodiversity.

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