By Frederick William Allendorf
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Additional info for Conservation and the Genetics of Populations
Nevertheless, studies have shown that natural selection can bring about rapid genetic changes in populations that may have important implications for conservation (Stockwell et al. 2003). Invasive species are recognized as one of the top two threats to global biodiversity (Chapter 20). Studies of genetic diversity and the potential for rapid evolution of invasive species may provide useful insights into what causes species to become invasive (Lee and Gelembiuk 2008). More information about the genetics and evolution of invasive species or native species in invaded communities, as well as their interactions, may lead to predictions of the relative susceptibility of ecosystems to invasion, identification of key alien species, and predictions of the subsequent effects of removal.
Greig in 1979. This interesting paper emphasized the importance of maintaining the integrity of local population units. The application of genetics to conservation in a more general context did not blossom until around 1980, when three books established the foundation for applying the principles of genetics to conservation of biodiversity (Soulé and Wilcox 1980, Frankel and Soulé 1981, Schonewald-Cox et al. 1983). Today conservation genetics is a well-established discipline, with its own journals (Conservation Genetics and Conservation Genetics Resources) and two textbooks, including this one and Frankham et al.
Based upon that foundation, we will consider the application of this understanding to the many problems faced by conservation biologists, with the hope that our more informed actions can make a difference. Guest Box 1 The role of genetics in conservation L. Scott Mills and Michael E. Soulé Until recently, most conservationists ignored genetics and most geneticists ignored the biodiversity catastrophe. It was agricultural geneticists, led by Sir Otto Frankel (1974), who began to sound an alarm about the disappearance of thousands of land races – crop varieties coaxed over thousands of years to adapt to local soils, climates, and pests.
Conservation and the Genetics of Populations by Frederick William Allendorf