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Marriage and manioc

December 9, 2011

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin are among the authors of a recent PNAS paper, Marriage exchanges, seed exchanges, and the dynamics of manioc diversity, that highlights geographic variation of manioc genetic diversity according to major ethnolinguistic boundaries, with a southern matrilineal domain characterized by high levels of varietal diversity and a northern patrilineal domain characterized by low varietal diversity. The researchers analyzed the relationships between marriage exchanges and seed exchange networks in patrilineal and matrilineal societies and demonstrated that, by defining marriage prohibitions, kinship systems structure social networks of exchange between farmer communities and influence the movement of seeds in metapopulations, shaping crop diversity at local and regional levels. Interesting read.


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