Current Status of Agro-biodiversity in Lebanon and Future Challenges
Though a small country, Lebanon hosts various ecosystems that allow for a large number of plants ranging from cold requiring crops to subtropical ones to live and flourish. More than 80 plant species for food and agriculture are currently cultivated and/or utilized in the country, excluding ornamental, medicinal, forest and forage plants. The main crops grown in Lebanon are olives, fruit trees and cereals followed by tubers and fruity vegetables. Furthermore, a number of species of the wild flora are harvested and used as food including aromatic plants, spices and condiments. This paper reviews the currents status of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in the country with the multiple concerns and challenges regarding their sustainable use, in-situ management and ex situ conservation over the recent years.