Erosion of Domestic Biodiversity - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Erosion of Domestic Biodiversity

European view

Auteurs : Matthieu Calame

Definition and perception


Domestic biodiversity embraces all the varieties and races established by man. Varieties of wheat, fruit, vegetables, poultry and all domesticated species in general. A distinction is made in this respect between three levels of diversity:

  • Interspecific diversity, i.e. the diversity of species domesticated and cultivated by man. It developed extensively in Europe in the past. Following the discovery of the Americas by Europeans, the latter adopted species of American origin such as potatoes, tomatoes and maize. Generally speaking, few species grown or cultivated by Europeans have been domesticated on European territory. The Middle East has been by far the place of primary domestication which has provided Europe with most species. However, the Chinese area has made a very important contribution towards enriching the number of species cultivated in Europe, particularly when it comes to fruit trees.

  • Intraspecific diversity, a term which covers the different varieties which man has established within the same species. The diversity of varieties of apples, for example.

  • Finally, intervarietal diversity, i.e. diversity within the same variety, among the individuals of which it is composed.

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