Methodology PDF Print E-mail

Geographic and environmental information

We included species presence data from CWR-PLIS for the four genepools prioritized by AEGRO (Avena, Beta, Brassica and Prunus) (see Species sources section) and the geographic coordinates of the protected areas proposed for the establishment of genetic reserves by each group’s experts in a GIS. Species presence data and geographic coordinates of the protected areas were converted into vectorial (point) shapefiles (using ArcGIS© software*) and overlayed on European administrative divisions, Natura 2000 (Habitats and Birds European Directive) and CDDA (Common Database on Designated Areas) layers. Thus, the preliminary list of protected areas containing proposed genetic reserves were obtained and a map with these areas was developed. Subsequently, the information provided by the experts concerning the list of proposed protected areas was checked. When inconsistencies were found between the location of the populations of the focal species and the location of the proposed sites, alternative protected areas were suggested to the experts for their evaluation. When no protected areas could be found where suitable populations of a particular focal species occurred, the experts provided the geographic coordinates of the target population of the focal species where a genetic reserve could be established. Thus, a final list of locations (mainly protected areas) was identified where genetic reserves could potentially be established and a final map was obtained.

Information about the most important ecogeographical factors related to abiotic adaptation was then extracted for the protected areas or sites from the list. These environmental variables can be classified according to its nature as follows: (a) climatic; (b) edaphic, (c) geophysic and (d) anthropic variables (see Ecogeographic sources section).

To achieve this, points spaced 1x1km within protected areas shaped a point map (vectorial format). For each point ecogeographical data were extracted using “extract values by point” tool from ArcTool box (ArcGIS© 9.3*). Each protected area was then assigned a summary value for each of the ecogeographical variables. The mean value of the values found in each of the 1x1km data points of the protected area was assigned in the case of continuous variables, whereas, in categorical values, the mode value was used. Summarized information resulting from this process is shown in the ecogeographic information sheets.

Occurrence of other CWR species

In each of the protected areas or alternative sites proposed for the establishment of the genetic reserves, 1 km and 10 km buffer areas were generated beyond their limits. Then, the number of populations of CWR taxa of the four target genepools (Avena, Beta, Brassica and Prunus) covered by the protected areas at the three levels (inside the polygons, and in the 1 and 10 km buffers) were gathered and is now presented summarized at genepool level (CWR under protection [genepool level] section) sheets. Similarly, detailed information on the species by species coverage of each protected area is provided (CWR under protection [species level] section). All these sheets only include CWR taxa that belong to the four genepools considered in the AEGRO project (Avena, Beta, Brassica and Prunus) . The rationale for using the 1 and 10 km areas is that, in these surrounding areas, some degree of protection can be inferred from the established protected areas. The occurrence of the target species in the buffer areas may also be indicative of the existence of additional unrecorded populations of the same species within the protected areas. Furthermore, the use of these buffer areas may also be useful to take into account the uncertainty (in terms of accuracy) associated to some of the geographic coordinates for some species occurrences.

AEGRO’s genetic reserve information system set-up

Ecogeographic, genepool and species information on the protected areas proposed for the establishment of CWR genetic reserves by the AEGRO project is now available in a website ( Information is visible as raw data (species presence-absence), descriptive statistics (mean/mode) and maps (self-made static maps and maps provided by Google).Links with additional general information about these protected areas is also provided. The web site was built with Joomla 1.5 and the Googlemaps plugin, using Novus (Rocket Theme) as template.

*Maps throughout this web were created using ArcGIS® software by Esri. ArcGIS® is the intellectual property of Esri and is used herein under license. Copyright © Esri. All rights reserved. For more information about Esri® software, please visit



Last Updated on Saturday, 28 May 2011 14:09
An Integrated European In Situ Management Work plan: Implementing Genetic Reserves and On Farm Concepts (AEGRO)
The project number AGRI GENRES 057 is funded by the European Commission, DG AGRI within the framework of council regulation 870/2004.