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timelines:domesticated_crops_and_animals_lands_of_red_and_gold [2015/01/25 04:43]
Petike [See Also]
timelines:domesticated_crops_and_animals_lands_of_red_and_gold [2019/03/29 15:14] (current)
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 **[[http://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Dioscorea_transversa|Long yam]]** (//​[[http://​www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/​education/​Resources/​bush_foods/​Dioscorea_transversa|Dioscorea transversa]]//​) - aka the native yam. One of the ancestral relatives of the red yam and the lesser yam. While a nutritious tuber, it mostly remains an undomesticated,​ wildly growing species. In [[alternate history:​OTL]],​ it was gathered and eaten by Australian natives, but due to its smaller size, smaller yields and unsuitability for large-scale agriculture,​ it never became a founder crop, despite its obvious potential. In the //​**[[timelines:​Lands of Red and Gold]]**// universe, a mutation that occured within a small population of long yams led to the evolution of a more productive offshoot species, the red yam. **[[http://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Dioscorea_transversa|Long yam]]** (//​[[http://​www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/​education/​Resources/​bush_foods/​Dioscorea_transversa|Dioscorea transversa]]//​) - aka the native yam. One of the ancestral relatives of the red yam and the lesser yam. While a nutritious tuber, it mostly remains an undomesticated,​ wildly growing species. In [[alternate history:​OTL]],​ it was gathered and eaten by Australian natives, but due to its smaller size, smaller yields and unsuitability for large-scale agriculture,​ it never became a founder crop, despite its obvious potential. In the //​**[[timelines:​Lands of Red and Gold]]**// universe, a mutation that occured within a small population of long yams led to the evolution of a more productive offshoot species, the red yam.
  
-**Red yam** (//​Dioscorea chelidonius//​) - a vine with perennial rootstock and foliage which usually dies back over winter and regrows in spring, although the foliage sometimes remains year-round in warmer and wetter climates. It is a fictional species that evolved from certain populations of yellow yam and represents the simple natural [[pods/pods|POD]] for the entirety of //**[[Lands of Red and Gold]]**//. Red yams produce an edible (and very tasty) tuber as a food store. The tubers are formed quite deep in the ground (up to a metre down), and so take a reasonable amount of digging to extract, but the tubers are large enough to justify the effort. In the wild state red yam tubers can grow up to 1 kg in weight (more in wet years); domesticated red yam tubers are often much larger. Domesticated red yams have been artificially selected both for larger tubers and for a sweeter taste. Selection for relatively sweeter varieties is common to a lot of domesticated varieties of plants. This has an additional benefit of providing a higher nutritional yield for the domesticated yams, since more of the tuber is formed from digestible starch rather than water or indigestible fibre. Domesticated varieties of red yams have a lower water content (which means that they store longer) and it also means that they provide a higher calorie intake per unit of weight. Like many (but not all) Australian wild yam species, red yams can be eaten raw but are usually roasted or cooked in other ways. In culinary terms, the red yam can be cooked in a variety of ways similar to the potato or sweet potato. It is a staple crop which for most people forms over half of their daily calorie intake. Red yams are native to the central Murray Valley, but domesticated forms can be grown without too much difficulty in regions of adequate rainfall between latitudes of about 25 to 45 degrees. Cultivation of red yams at more tropical latitudes will need to await the development of cultivars more heat-tolerant and better adapted to tropical growing seasons, which will not be quick. The red yam has evolved into a form which is well-suited to the periodic droughts and semi-arid conditions along the Middle Murray. The most important of these is that red yams have evolved a process called crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), which allows plants to store atmospheric carbon dioxide in their leaves at night, and then photosynthesise during the day. This means that CAM plants keep the stomata in their leaves closed during the heat of the day, and lose much less water than non-CAM plants. This makes red yams well-suited for semi-arid conditions, and combined with their deep roots, makes them resistant even to long and persistent droughts. CAM photosynthesis comes at a price, however; CAM plants are less efficient at absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide. This means that in areas which do have higher rainfall, the red yam is likely to be out-competed by non-CAM plants. Thus, the red yam does not grow naturally in the wetter areas of Australia’s eastern coast, although domesticated red yams can grow there provided that the soil is well-drained. (Red yams, like other yam species, do not tolerate waterlogged soils very well.)+**Red yam** (//​Dioscorea chelidonius//​) - a vine with perennial rootstock and foliage which usually dies back over winter and regrows in spring, although the foliage sometimes remains year-round in warmer and wetter climates. It is a fictional species that evolved from certain populations of yellow yam and represents the simple natural [[pods:pods|POD]] for the entirety of //**[[Lands of Red and Gold]]**//. Red yams produce an edible (and very tasty) tuber as a food store. The tubers are formed quite deep in the ground (up to a metre down), and so take a reasonable amount of digging to extract, but the tubers are large enough to justify the effort. In the wild state red yam tubers can grow up to 1 kg in weight (more in wet years); domesticated red yam tubers are often much larger. Domesticated red yams have been artificially selected both for larger tubers and for a sweeter taste. Selection for relatively sweeter varieties is common to a lot of domesticated varieties of plants. This has an additional benefit of providing a higher nutritional yield for the domesticated yams, since more of the tuber is formed from digestible starch rather than water or indigestible fibre. Domesticated varieties of red yams have a lower water content (which means that they store longer) and it also means that they provide a higher calorie intake per unit of weight. Like many (but not all) Australian wild yam species, red yams can be eaten raw but are usually roasted or cooked in other ways. In culinary terms, the red yam can be cooked in a variety of ways similar to the potato or sweet potato. It is a staple crop which for most people forms over half of their daily calorie intake. Red yams are native to the central Murray Valley, but domesticated forms can be grown without too much difficulty in regions of adequate rainfall between latitudes of about 25 to 45 degrees. Cultivation of red yams at more tropical latitudes will need to await the development of cultivars more heat-tolerant and better adapted to tropical growing seasons, which will not be quick. The red yam has evolved into a form which is well-suited to the periodic droughts and semi-arid conditions along the Middle Murray. The most important of these is that red yams have evolved a process called crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), which allows plants to store atmospheric carbon dioxide in their leaves at night, and then photosynthesise during the day. This means that CAM plants keep the stomata in their leaves closed during the heat of the day, and lose much less water than non-CAM plants. This makes red yams well-suited for semi-arid conditions, and combined with their deep roots, makes them resistant even to long and persistent droughts. CAM photosynthesis comes at a price, however; CAM plants are less efficient at absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide. This means that in areas which do have higher rainfall, the red yam is likely to be out-competed by non-CAM plants. Thus, the red yam does not grow naturally in the wetter areas of Australia’s eastern coast, although domesticated red yams can grow there provided that the soil is well-drained. (Red yams, like other yam species, do not tolerate waterlogged soils very well.)
  
 **Lesser yam** - another fictional species of yam, the product of a hybridisation between the red yam (Dioscorea chelidonius) and one of its close relatives, the long yam (Dioscorea transversa). This hybridisation occurs occasionally whenever cultivated red yams are bred near wild long yams, which occurs in north-eastern New South Wales and southern Queensland. Like both of their parents, the hybrid yams have a perennial root system and their stems and leaves die back every year. The hybrid yams have tubers which are midway in size between the larger red yams and the smaller long yams, hence their name of “lesser yam.” The first lesser yams are not interfertile with either of their parents, and since yams require both a male and female plant, were effectively sterile. Australian farmers have learned to propagate yams through using cuttings, though, and this allows them to propagate the lesser yams. Since hybrids show up on a fairly regular basis, this eventually means that they find strains of lesser yams which can fertilise each other and then be grown from seed. As a crop, the lesser yam offers a lower yield than red yams, and is somewhat less drought-tolerant,​ but one of the characteristics it has inherited from its long yam parent is the capacity to grow in the tropics. **Lesser yam** - another fictional species of yam, the product of a hybridisation between the red yam (Dioscorea chelidonius) and one of its close relatives, the long yam (Dioscorea transversa). This hybridisation occurs occasionally whenever cultivated red yams are bred near wild long yams, which occurs in north-eastern New South Wales and southern Queensland. Like both of their parents, the hybrid yams have a perennial root system and their stems and leaves die back every year. The hybrid yams have tubers which are midway in size between the larger red yams and the smaller long yams, hence their name of “lesser yam.” The first lesser yams are not interfertile with either of their parents, and since yams require both a male and female plant, were effectively sterile. Australian farmers have learned to propagate yams through using cuttings, though, and this allows them to propagate the lesser yams. Since hybrids show up on a fairly regular basis, this eventually means that they find strains of lesser yams which can fertilise each other and then be grown from seed. As a crop, the lesser yam offers a lower yield than red yams, and is somewhat less drought-tolerant,​ but one of the characteristics it has inherited from its long yam parent is the capacity to grow in the tropics.
timelines/domesticated_crops_and_animals_lands_of_red_and_gold.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:14 (external edit)