Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 October 2012
To facilitate the updating of in situ and ex situ conservation strategies for wild taxa of the genus Hordeum L., a combined ecogeographic survey and gap analysis was undertaken. The analysis was based on the Global Inventory of Barley Plant Genetic Resources held by ICARDA plus additional datasets, resulting in a database containing 17,131 wild Hordeum accessions. The analysis concluded that a genetic reserve should be established in the Mendoza Province of Argentina, as this is the most species-rich area globally for Hordeum. A network of reserves should also be set up across the Fertile Crescent in Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to provide effective conservation within the centres of diversity for gene pools 1B (Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum (C. Koch) Thell.) and 2 (Hordeum bulbosum L.). The majority of the species were deemed under-collected, so further collecting missions are required worldwide where possible. Although ex situ and in situ conservation strategies have been developed, there needs to be further investigation into the ecological environments that Hordeum species occupy to ensure that any adaptive traits expressed are fully conserved. Additionally, studies are required to characterize existing collections and test the viability of rare species accessions held in genebanks to determine whether further ex situ collections are required alongside the proposed in situ conservation.