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Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 00: 1–0, 2001.  2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. 1 Conservation strategies and management guidelines for wild Prunus genetic resources in Andalusia, Spain ´ Jose Luis Vivero, J. Esteban Hernandez-Bermejo and Josefa Prados Ligero* ´ ´ The Botanic Garden of Cordoba , Avda. de Linneo s /n, 14004 Cordoba , Spain; * Author for correspondence Received 24 March 2000; accepted in revised form 2 February 2001 Key words: Andalusia, Conservation guidelines, Genetic resources, Prunus, Spain Abstract Six species of the genus Prunus occur in Andalusia. Matters regarding their ecology, ethnobotanical aspects and conservation are discussed, as well as knowledge about the germplasm of those species with greater economic importance and their degree of conservation, namely: P. avium, P. mahaleb and P. insititia. Various conservation measures are proposed for wild germplasm and for the germplasm of local varieties: a) conservation efforts should target the best populations, except in the case of P. avium and P. insititia, where every individual should be addressed, including both wild and local cultivars; b) the Dehesa del Camarate (Sierra Nevada) is proposed as an area for in situ germplasm conservation; c) the awareness of the importance of Prunus germplasm should be increased among forest workers, environmental managers and the public; d) some silvicultural techniques are proposed, such as mixed Prunus patches, hedge treatment, Z-tree selection at the early stages and the protection of root suckers; e) improved, selected P. avium and P. mahaleb germplasm should be used at highly productive sites since these two species can be cultivated as high value timber trees; f) some Prunus species can also provide profitable NTFPs in the region. Details regarding different collection areas are covered. Finally, some topics are recommended for scientific research. Three tables and a distribution map of Prunus species in Andalusia are included. Introduction The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to Prunus germplasm in Andalusia, its conservation status and to outline management guidelines, thus providing the basic information that is necessary for this germplasm’s protection and use. A practical goal is that selected sites be proposed for accessions and silvicultural practices that promote the management and use of Prunus species in the region. Very few inventorial studies have been done on the wild Prunus species found in the Mediterranean Basin, in spite of the fact that such inventories are a prerequisite for gene conservation strategies for tree species (Turok et al. 1998). High altitude adaptations and pest resistance that were revealed in ecogeographical surveys of wild relatives of fruit trees are suggestive, since the commercial varieties that are traditionally cultivated at lower altitudes (, 600 m) are very sensitive to pathogens (Toval and Vega 1988). The genus Prunus is very important from an agricultural perspective, since it includes some very important fruit trees, namely almond, apricot, peach, plum and cherry trees, all of them cultivated in Andalusia. There are 12 wild Prunus species in Europe (Webb 1968), 8 of which ´ de la occur on the Iberian Peninsula (Blanca and Dıaz Guardia 1999). Wild Prunus, especially P. mahaleb, P. insititia and P. spinosa, are very valuable in the improvement of rootstocks that are currently being developed. P. avium is also highly valued for its wood. At present, there is a European Cooperative Program for the Conservation and Exchange of Crop Genetic Resources (ECP/ GR) directly involved in Prunus germplasm conservation, and a Prunus Working Group that was created specifically for this matter. But it seems that the germplasm native to Spain (Socias 1996) has not been a serious consideration within these conservation frameworks. ICPC - XPS 30494 (GRES) - product element 334956 - Wed Aug 22 11:04:02 2001

Prunus GRACE

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