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REGIONAL WORKSHOP on Exploration, Characterization and Utilization of Under-utilized Fruits and Vegetables Plant Species in SAARC Countries 04-05th

July 2010 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Exploration and Consecration of Under-Utilized Fruits
H.K. KADUPITIYA1, R.S.S. Ratnayake, P.G.S.B. DHARMAKEERTHI, K.W. KETIPEARACHCHI, S.P. REBERA, 1 Horticulture Crops Research & Development Institute, Gannoruwa, Sri Lanka


Each geographic area is eco-geographically unique; the combination of geology, soil, latitude, longitude, climate, biota, ecological history and anthropomorphic factors provides a unique range of constraints that define that locality, these constraints then act on a species genepool giving rise to unique patterns of genetic diversity associated with particular geographic locations (Maxted et al., 1995). Sri Lanka is a small island (65,625 km 2) located at the southern tip of the India, between 5053 and 9053 N latitude and 79040 and 81052 E longitude. The climate of the country is tropical, but it shows high variation across the island resulting from marine influences, tropical location, monsoons, mountains barrier in the middle of the island, dense vegetation cover and also from man-made reservoirs or cascade systems. Sri Lanka has three distinct climatic zones mainly based on rainfall: (1) Wet Zone (rainfall > 2,500 mm) in the Southwest quadrant of the island, (2) Dry Zone (rainfall < 1,750 mm) encompasses the rest of the island north & east and (3) Intermediate Zone (rainfall 1,750 2,500 mm) lying between the wet and dry zones. Sri Lanka are also characterized by a significant temperature decrease towards the central highlands with approximately around 5-6Ckm-1 laps rate and subdivided again into three regions; (1) Low- country (< 300 m in elevation), (2) Mid-country (elevation 300 - 900 m) and (3) Up-country (> 900 m elevation). The island can be sub-divided into 46 well-defined agroecological regions based with distinct rainfall patterns, elevation, landform, temperature and soil type (Punyawardena et al, 2003). As a result, despite the small size, the island exhibits an exceptional array of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems that support a remarkable diversity of species (MoFE, 1999); Pushpakumara et al., 2007). Considering the exceptional concentration of species, Sri Lanka has been classified as one of 34 Biodiversity Hotspots in the world (Mittermeier et al., 2005). Number of fruit species recorded in Sri Lanka exceeds 230 from 56 families (Pushpakumara and Silva, 2008). Except for several species, most of the fruit species are grown naturally and seldom exploited even as fresh fruits. These fruits are generally known as underutilized fruits (UUF) with under-exploited potentials for contributing to food and nutritional security, income generation and environmental services (Haq and Hughes 2002; Ravindran 2002). The UUF species have a potential to contribute to food security and poverty alleviation including the value addition aspects to diversify use and shelf-live. These underutilized fruit species have lost their significance among the present generation due to many reasons such as urbanization and changing food habits and urge the need of rapid intervention program for conservation of the germplasm in Sri Lanka. The information on geographical existence is not well documented and organized. Efforts was taken for gather information on distribution of UUF, generate distribution map and derive the potential area maps to provide a guide to further research and development of UUF in Sri Lanka. The task of evaluating genetic diversity with lesser information is a problem central to biodiversity research. Geographic

representativeness of species occurrence has been tapped by many researchers with capabilities of GIS for exploration, conservation as well as judicious utilization of valuable germplasm diversity (Rathnayake et al, 2011; Liyanage, 2010 ; Vilupasena,et al, 2010). For evaluation of present status and map potential areas of under-utilized fruit species, location of 3219 fruit from 30 fruit species collected from field investigations, data recorded by different authorities and herbarium records were used with DIVA GIS (Hijmans et al. (2002). BIOCLIM1 (Busby, 1991) and FLORAMAP2 (Jones and Gladkov, 1999; Jones et al., 1997) software for development of tree distribution maps and potential area maps. The information provides guide to find priority exploration regions for further investigations, conservation and utilization promotion planning. Reference
IUCN, 2007. The 2007 red list of threatened fauna and flora of Sri Lanka. IUCN and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Maxted, N., Mabuza-Dlamini, P., Moss, H., Padulosi, S., Jarvis, A. & Guarino, L. (2005) An ecogeographic survey: African Vigna. Systematic and Ecogeographic Studies of Crop Genepools 10. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy. Maxted, N., Van Slageren, M.W. & Rihan, J. (1995) Ecogeographic surveys. Collecting plant genetic diversity: technical guidelines (ed. by L. Guarino, V. Ramanatha Rao and R. Reid), pp. 255286. CAB International, Wallingford, UK. IUCN and MoENR (2007). The 2007 Red List of Threatened Fauna and Flora of Sri Lanka. The World Conservation Union Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Colombo. NARESA (1991). Natural Resources of Sri Lanka: Conditions and Trends. Natural Resources, Energy and Science Authority of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka. MoFE (1999). Biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka: a framework for action. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Punyawardena, B.V.R., T.M.J. Bandara, M.A.K. Munasinghe, Nimal Jayaratna Banda and S.M.V. Pushpakumara, 2003. Agro-ecological regions of Sri Lanka. Natural Resources Management Center, Department of Agriculture, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka Pushpakumara, D.K.N.G., Gunasena, H.P.M., Kudagamage, C., de Soyza, J., Rajapakse, R.H.S. and Singh, V.P. (2007). Chapter 1: Introduction Potential of developing underutilized fruit tree species in Sri Lanka. In: Pushpakumara, D.K.N.G., Gunasena, H.P.M. and Singh, V.P. (2007) (eds) Underutilized fruit trees in Sri Lanka. World Agroforestry Centre, South Asia Office, New Delhi, India. pp. 1-6. Mittermeier, R.A., Gil, P.R., Hoffman, M., Pilgrim, J., Brooks, T., Mittermeier, C.G., Lamoreux, J. and da Fonseca, G.A.B. (2004). Hotspots revisited: earths biologically richest and most threatened terrestrial ecoregions. Conservation International, Washington D.C., USA. Pushpakumara, G. and Silva, P. (2008) Agrobiodiversity in Sri Lanka. Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka. Haq, N. and A. Hughes (2002). Fruits for the future in Asia. Southampton, UK., Sheikh Saeed Ahmad And Sumaira Javed. Ravindran, C., Sharma, M., Kohli. A. and Kher, R., (2002). Exploitation of Underutilized Fruit Species in Western Himalayas for Food Security and Enhanced Rural Livelihood. Available from: (Accessed 10th June 2011). Ratnayake R. S. S., Kariyawasam C. S., Kadupitiya H. K., Jayasinghe-Mudalige U. K., Randeni R. P. L. C. And Anjalee G. H. I. 2011, use of geographic information systems to link socioeconomic parameters with underutilized fruit genetic diversity for livelihood development, In Press. Vipulasena, P., N.R. Abeynayake and H.K. Kadupitiya, 2010. Evaluation of potentials and constrains for Wood apple (Limonia acidissima L.) cultivation in Sri Lanka, Proceedings of Agriculture Symposium Wayamba University of Sri Lanka 10: 363-367. Liyanage, A.S.U. 2010, Eco-Geographic Survey of Crop Wild Relatives, Plant Genetic Resource Center, Gannoruwa, Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-8306-01-07.

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