Assessing the Geographic Representativeness of Genebank Collections: the Case of Bolivian Wild Potatoes
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Genebank collection databases can be used for ecogeographical studies tender the assumption that the accessions are a geographically unbiased sample. We evaluated the representativeness of a collection of wild potatoes from Bolivia and defined and assessed four types of bias: species, species-area, hotspot, and infrastructure. Species bias is the sampling of some species more often than others. Species-area bias is a sampling that is disproportionate to the total area in which a species is found Hotspot bias is the disproportionate sampling of areas with high levels of diversity. Infrastructure bias is the disproportionate sampling of areas near roads and towns. Each of these biases is present in the Bolivian wild potato collection. The infrastructure bias was strong: 60% of all wild potato accessions were collected within 2 km of a road, as opposed to 22%, if collections had been made randomly. This analysis can serve as a guide for future collecting trips. It can also provide baseline information for the application of genebank data in studies based on geographic information systems.
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