The importance of maintaining and increasing the use of biological diversity in crops and cropping systems in the face of climate change and pressure on non-renewable resources is increasingly recognised. Yet breeding for and management of high-biodiversity agriculture is neither well established nor even well-studied.
To fill this gap, an ambitious, large-scale EU research initiative has been launched which will integrate diversity at all levels into the breeding of agricultural plants. ORC is a partner in the project which is called SOLIBAM (“Strategies for Organic and Low-input Integrated Breeding and Management”). The project team – Sally Howlett, Thomas Döring, Louisa Winkler and Martin Wolfe – describe what is happening.