Therefore, two components of agrobiodiversity can be distinguished. At first the genetic resources with current or potential use for food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. These are all cultivated and domesticated species including their varieties, breeds or populations, their wild relatives, and managed populations of wild animals and plants. Secondly all useful organisms that fulfil agri-ecological functions like beneficial animals decimating pests, soil organisms which provide nutrients for cultivated plants, pollinators, and plants which limit erosion or stabilise the groundwater table or the climate.
Genetic resources are mostly structured according to sectoral aspects in genetic resources for crop production, animal husbandry, forestry, fisheries and micro-organisms and invertebrates:
- Plant genetic resources
- Animal genetic resources
- Forest genetic resources
- Aquatic genetic resources
- Genetic resources of micro-organisms and invertebrates
Agrobiodiversity is of substantial importance, because it is the basis of any production in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food industry and thus the basis of the world food production. Further on it is of great economic importance due to the market value of the products generated. Beyond the current economic value the agrobiodiversity is an indispensable resource for future uses and a basic precondition for innovations. Not quantifiable are the ecological benefits as well as the cultural and aesthetic value of agrobiodiversity.