Perennial Vegetables for Nutrition, Biodiversity, and Carbon Sequestration

The Perennial Agriculture Institute is pleased to announce our first publication – “Perennial vegetables: A neglected resource for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and nutrition.” It is published open access by the prestigious scientific journal PLOS One.

Among our key findings:

  • 613 species are grown around the world, representing 33-56% of all cultivated vegetable species.
  • Perennial vegetables occupy 6% of world vegetable growing area,
  • Carbon sequestration potential is 23-281 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
  • Many perennial vegetables are particularly high in the nutrients needed to address deficiencies that impact some 3 billion people today.
  • The group of vegetables with the highest levels of these nutrients is trees with edible leaves, of which the study identifies over 70 cultivated species.

PAI will be initiating efforts to bring together nutrition, agroforestry, climate, and crop biodiversity leaders to develop an initiative to increase the planting and consumption of these multifunctional species.


Image: Many trees with edible leaves are grown in coppice systems where they are pruned back every year to stimulate production of tender growth for an extended season. Here, edible-leaf mulberry (Morus alba) is grown at Las Cañadas in Veracruz, Mexico.


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