Landrace diversity and local selection criteria of domesticated squashes and gourds (Cucurbita) in the central Andean mountain range of Peru: Tomayquichua, Huánuco

Keywords: Center of diversity, Cucurbita, landrace diversity, management

Abstract

Background: It is important to understand the agricultural practices and criteria of human selection that shape the diversity of landraces in domesticated plants. The Andean region shares with Mesoamerica and North America the areas of origin of the five domesticated species of Cucurbita. However, studies on the biological diversity of these species have been scarcer in Peru than in Mexico.

Questions: Which landrace varieties of Cucurbita are recognized, promoted and conserved by the farmers in the District of Tomayquichua? Which mechanisms promote the diversity of these varieties?

Studied species: Cucurbita ficifolia Bouché, Cucurbita moschata Duchesne, Cucurbita maxima Duchesne.

Study site, dates: Tomayquichua, Huánuco, Peru (June of 2018 and 2019). 

Methods: We used semi-structured interviews to 29 families of farmers and merchants to assess the diversity of landrace varieties and agricultural management practices of Cucurbita species.

Results: C. ficifolia was the most diverse cucurbit in Tomayquichua (13 varieties) folowed by C. moschata (10 varieties), both which are grown in chacras and backyards. We report seven varieties of C. maxima, with the predominant use of a commercial variety through intensive agricultural practices.

Conclusion: The traditional agricultural practices seem to maintain the landrace diversities of C. ficifolia and C. moschata. The landraces of C. maxima in Tomayquichua seem to be displaced progressively by an enhanced variety destined to increase yield using intensive agricultural practices. The high biological diversity of C. ficifolia in Peru suggests an Andean origin for this species, but future studies with genetic data are needed.

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Landrace diversity and local selection criteria of domesticated squashes and gourds (Cucurbita) in the central Andean mountain range of Peru: Tomayquichua, Huánuco

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Published
2020-03-11
How to Cite
Barrera-Redondo, J., Hernández-Rosales, H. S., Cañedo-Torres, D. V., Aréstegui Alegria, K., Torres-Guevara, J., Parra-Rondinel, F. A., Torres-García, I., & Casas, A. (2020). Landrace diversity and local selection criteria of domesticated squashes and gourds (Cucurbita) in the central Andean mountain range of Peru: Tomayquichua, Huánuco. Botanical Sciences, 98(1), 101-116. https://doi.org/10.17129/botsci.2239
Section
ETHNOBOTANY / ETNOBOTÁNICA