Global Crop Richness added to WWF-SIGHT

Pablo Izquierdo 03 March 2017

We just added a new layer to our mapping platform showing the global crop richness, which is defined as number of harvested crops per hectare combining 175 different crops.

Interactive map of the global crop richness (Click on the top left of the map for more info).

Agro-biodiversity in this approach is described as number of different crops present in an area. The global distribution of 175 crops, obtained by Monfreda et al. 2008, was aggregated to calculate the global crop richness.

Croplands cover ∼15 million km2 of the planet and provide the bulk of the food and fiber essential to human well-being. Most global land cover data sets from satellites group croplands into just a few categories, thereby excluding information that is critical for answering key questions ranging from biodiversity conservation to food security to biogeochemical cycling. Information about agricultural land use practices like crop selection, yield, and fertilizer use is even more limited. This layer shows land use data sets created by combining national, state, and county level census statistics with a recently updated global data set of croplands on a 5 min by 5 min (∼10 km by 10 km) latitude-longitude grid. The resulting land use data sets depict circa the year 2000 the area (harvested) and yield of 175 distinct crops of the world.

Source: Monfreda et al. 2008. “Farming the planet: 2. Geographic distribution of crop areas, yields, physiological types, and net primary production in the year 2000”. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 22.