Barley is one of the major cereal crops grown in Ethiopia. The diversity of barley landraces kept for generations in Ethiopia is nowadays subject to genetic erosion. This is true in North Gondar highlands of the country as well. This research was therefore initiated with the aim of studying the farm diversity status of barley landraces in Debark, Dabat and Wogera districts. A total of 180 randomly selected farmers from six villages were surveyed with a proportion of 30 farmers/village. Ecological models were employed to analyze the level of diversity. Genetic erosion models were employed to estimate the level of genetic erosion over a ten-year period of time. A total of 24 landraces were described by farmers of the studied sites. Of these, 18 of them are still under cultivation although their area coverage is declining from time to time. The landraces Abat gebs, Nech gebs and Tikur gebs were found to be the most common and widely grown. Debark district was found to have the highest richness (Margalef=2.45; Menhinick=1.43) followed by Wogera and Dabat districts. With regard to evenness as a measure of Shannon diversity index, Wogera district (E=0.85) showed the highest diversity followed by dabat (E=0.83) and debark (E=0.79). Simpson’s diversity index (D) also revealed the abundance of Nech gebs (0.66), Abat gebs (0.6) and Tikur gebs (0.52). The landraces Demo kises, Goreneje, Chankirme, Gabieaswelik, Amedo and Gero tal were found to be out of production in the last ten years and probably eroded. Genetic erosion and genetic integrity over ten years (2006-2016) was found to be 25 and 75%, respectively. The name given to landraces studied was found to be associated with certain characteristics or situations. Thus, policy makers and researchers should give attention to conservation of landraces of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) for better use of genetic resources.
Key words: On-farm diversity, genetic erosion, barley, landrace.
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