Understanding the Effect of the Environmental Conditions on the Suitability of a Breed for Different Agro-Ecological Zones

Maria Lozano Jaramillo, J.W.M. Bastiaansen, Tadelle Dessie, J. Komen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Predicting suitability of breeds for a production system can be challenging in livestock. Most attempts to introduce exotic breeds in low input systems were unsuccessful mainly due to the antagonistic environmental conditions. Knowledge of the environmental conditions that are shaping the breed would be needed to elucidate their suitability to different locations. Predictive habitat distribution models use the current climatic conditions of a breed to make
predictions of the potential distribution of the breed. A methodology was developed to predict breed suitability for different agro-ecological zones based on GIS tools and PHD models. This methodology was tested on distribution data of two introduced chicken breeds in Ethiopia: the Koekoek, originally from South Africa, and the Fayoumi, originally from Egypt. Results from cross-validation based on the current distribution of the breeds showed this methodology to be effective in predicting breed specific environmental suitability. Furthermore, for both breeds the significant climatic factors that shape the breeds distribution
were similar between the suggested distribution area, and the environment from which the breeds originated in South Africa and Egypt. This novel methodology applied to livestock research, allows for better decisions in introduction programs and the design of testing schemes, and increases our understanding of the role of the environment in livestock productivity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production
Place of PublicationAuckland
PublisherIAVS / Massey University
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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