Benefits of within-species diversity on crop mixtures

Like positive effects of species diversity, genetic diversity may have strong positive effects on agricultural ecosystems and positively influence production and species abundances in multispecies covers. But the effects of genetic diversity have not been much studied.

Meilhac et al. study five species mixtures in temporary grasslands that differ by levels of genetic diversity. For the first time in a field-plot study, they demonstrate the major role played by within-species genetic diversity on the production, stability and species composition of temporary grasslands. Genetic and species diversity will likely provide additional levers for improving crops in diversified systems.

Further reading

Meilhac, J., Durand, J.-L., Beguier, V., & Litrico, I. (2019). Increasing the benefits of species diversity in multispecies temporary grasslands by increasing within-species diversity. Annals of Botany, 123(5), 891–900. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcy227