The UN food agency on Friday warned about the threat to the future of the world's food production from a lack of biodiversity in the environment.
In a report, the first of its kind by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), it said there was "mounting evidence that the biodiversity that underpins our food systems, at all levels, is declining around the world."
That is putting food production and the environment "under severe threat," the FAO warned.
"Once lost, plant, animal and micro-organisms species that are critical to our food systems, cannot be recovered."
Biodiversity enables agriculture systems to be more resilient to shocks such as disease and pest outbreaks, as well as coping with climate change.
The report cited as examples the dramatic fall in food production from infestations such as the potato blight in Ireland in the 1840s and the losses of the tropical taro plant in Samoa in the 1990s.