For example, landrace dogs are very different depending on their origins and purpose; Border Collies derive from a landrace in Scotland and northern England, where their primary characteristics had to do with how they herded sheep in the borderlands, and Salukis were a landrace breed in the Middle East where they chased game across open tracts of land. A landrace does not imply so much a breed as a type; for example, Border Collies traditionally have had a variation in appearance, from upright prick ears to nearly drop ears, different fullnesses of coat, and so on, although the general appearance was such that they could still be recognized as Border Collies and their performance around sheep most accurately represented their membership in that race.
Often, when people move to create a highly consistent purebred breed, focus is placed more on consistency of appearance rather than on consistency of behavior or adaptability to the environment, and much of what made the animals a landrace is lost. For example, show Border Collies might not be particularly good at herding sheep and might not have a coat that is appropriate for the Scottish borderlands; similarly, Salukis might not be able to chase and catch hares in the desert.
Landraces include many local types of domestic animals: for example Shetland sheep, Welsh Mountain sheep, New Forest pony, Coloured Cob and Exmoor pony. Often (as in each of these examples) selections have been made from the landrace population to create formal pedigree breeds as well – for example, the New Forest ponies living semi-wild on the New Forest are mainly non-pedigree, landrace animals, while those kept as fully domesticated animals and bred for showing are a formal breed.
"Landrace" pigs (such as Danish Landrace) are in fact breeds derived from earlier true landraces.
A few horse breeds are claimed by aficionados to be "pure" and virtually unchanged from their original wild prototype or earliest landraces, though the term is rarely used in modern horse breeding. However, both the Arabian horse and the Andalusian horse make claims of great antiquity for the ancestry of their respective breeds.
"Landrace populations are often highly variable in appearance, but they are each identifiable and usually have local names. A landrace has particular properties or characteristics. Some are considered early maturing and some late. Each has a reputation for adaptation to particular soil types according to the traditional peasant soil classifications, e.g. heavy or light, warm or cold, dry or wet, strong or weak. They also may be classified according to expected usage; among cereals, different landraces are used for flour, for porridge, for 'bulgur', and for malt to make beer, etc. All components of the population are adapted to local climatic conditions, cultural practices, and disease and pests.
The term has more recently been defined as
"An autochthonous landrace is a variety with a high capacity to tolerate biotic and abiotic stress, resulting in a high yield stability and an intermediate yield level under a low input agricultural system.In simple terms, landraces are grown from seed that has not been systematically selected and marketed by seed companies or developed by plant breeders. A significant proportion of the world’s farmers grow landraces. Data collected for a study of the spread of cereal agriculture into Europe showed that landraces have largely fallen out of use in Europe. European cereal landraces were grown by our ancestors before the work of the 19th century seed improvers and the 20th century plant breeders produced improved varieties. The terms ‘landrace’ and ‘traditional variety’ are sometimes used interchangeably.
Genetic diversity in the Batini barley landrace from Oman: I. spike and seed quantitative and qualitative traits.(Plant Genetic Resources)
Jan 01, 2004; BARLEY is one of eight founder crops of Old World agriculture (Zohary and Hopf, 1993, p. 278); the Landraces of which are...
Genetic diversity of some Saudi barley (Hordeum Vulgare L.) landraces based on two types of molecular markers.(Report)
Apr 07, 2012; INTRODUCTION Barley was first cultivated 10,500 years ago in the Fertile Crescent and is one of the founder crops of Eurasian...
Molecular and phenotypic diversity of common bean landraces from Nicaragua.(Genomics, Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology)
Jul 01, 2004; THE COMMON BEAN, over a period of at least 7000 to 8000 yr, has been domesticated and evolved from a wild vining plant...