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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A descriptive analysis of Mexico's crop species diversity Luna Perez, Erika


Mexico is one of the main centres of origin of agriculture and domestication of a diversity of plant species that are fundamental for food security. Given the importance of conserving traditional crops, research in the country has mainly focused on crop diversity at the genetic level of these few crops. However, thanks to the country's geographic location, the biocultural heterogeneity of the landscape, and openness to international markets, today, Mexico grows more than 200 food crop species. This study used statistical analysis of Mexican agricultural census data to evaluate changes in Crop Species Diversity (CSD) from 1980 to 2016 for five agroecological regions of Mexico. CSD temporal trends are described through simple linear models, segmented regressions, and a Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) technique. Overall, we found that while diversity has been increasing in 4 out of 5 regions, regions are becoming more similar. This homogenization of the Mexican agricultural sector could therefore have major social, economic and environmental implications.

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