Li Tang et al. (2021)
Naked barley accounts for around 65 per cent of the total food production in Tibet, with near 70 per cent of farmland used to cultivate the crop. Li Tang and colleagues present new data suggesting that a specialized barley-dominant farming system started to develop at least a millennia earlier than previously recognized in central Tibet. This was likely due to a combination of barleys genetic adaptability to the unique environmental stressors experienced in Tibet along with a range of ecological and social factors. Consequently, naked barley cultivation was eventually adopted across a large geographic area in high-altitude regions (3500 masl) of Tibet where it remains the major crop today.