Wich indicators for monitoring genetic diversity ? a case study of common wheat cultivated in France during the 20th century

genetic diversity of wheat cultivated in France during the 20th century

Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment National
Country or countries covered Metropolitan France
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

Assessment done at 2 scales : * national scale (France) * 'departement' (French administrative territories) scale

In order to include most of the French wheat cultivation area.

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

Objectives : * to build a dashboard for in situ genetic diversity of cultivated plant * to assess several aspects of genetic diversity of cultivated wheat from the farest in the past until now * to link genetic diversity variations with historical events concerning wheat breeding

Mandate for the assessment

Following national and international recommandations (CDB, FAO and French national strategy for biodiversity), this work aimed at filling the lack of in situ genetic diversity assessment of cultivated species. Collection and other ex situ genetic diversity assessments are quite well-known, but nothing comparable seems available on in situ side.

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment


URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted


System(s) assessed

  • Cultivated/Agricultural land

Species groups assessed

triticum aestivum

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Genetic resources


Supporting Services/Functions

  • Primary production

Cultural Services

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started

Pre 2000

Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment

One off

Assessment outputs


Main document

supplemental material

Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

4 pages brochure - French version

4 pages brochure - UK version

Journal publications


Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Geospatial analysis
  • Indicators

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Stakeholders have been engaged only for data and knowledge providing.

Key stakeholder groups engaged


The number of people directly involved in the assessment process

Less than 10

Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only
  • Resource experts (e.g. foresters etc)
  • Traditional/local knowledge
  • Citizen science

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

The methodology is described in the following article : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X12001641

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

Data is still in use by the research team. Data should be available after second peer-reviewed article.

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

This work has been proposed to fullfill governemental needs for agricultural indicators, espcially through the French national observatory for biodiversity (http://indicateurs-biodiversite.naturefrance.fr/), and the FRB's project 'ECOSCOPE' (http://www.fondationbiodiversite.fr/programmes-phares/ecoscope).

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

The need for a complete set of indicators on a specific question. A dash-board with several indicators allows more detailed evaluation of the driving forces explaining the observed variations.

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

The assessment requires : * population genetic skills * breeding and history of breeding knowledge * identification of historical data sources

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

Network and sharing experiences, Sharing of data/repatriation of data, Communication and awareness raising

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Capacity were built by integrating skilled researchers on population genetics and agriculture history.

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

  • Gaps in oldest data sources : specially on in situ inventories of cultivated varieties
  • Gaps in knowledge of in situ genetic diversity of wheat landraces

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

These gaps have been integrated in order not to overestimate oldest indicators values. It leads to the fact that observed loss of diversity may be wider in reality.

Additional relevant information