Conservation of adaptive potential and functional diversity: integrating old and new approaches

Mable, B. K. (2019) Conservation of adaptive potential and functional diversity: integrating old and new approaches. Conservation Genetics, 20(1), pp. 89-100. (doi: 10.1007/s10592-018-1129-9)

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Continuing advances in whole genome scale approaches integrated with other ‘omic’ technologies promise to revolutionise understanding about the relevance of genetic variation to risks of species declines and extinctions. In the face of the vastly increased accessibility of such approaches, it is important that we advance beyond descriptive genetics to developing a more functional perspective on whether enhancing genetic variation is the most effective strategy for conservation management. Rather than a comprehensive review of the field, this paper focuses on several key issues that have been discussed since the dawn of “conservation genetics” and that warrant re-assessment based on emerging “omics” data, combined with new analytical approaches to ecological niche modelling and population genomic analyses. Specifically, the following inter-related issues are discussed: (1) the relative impacts of inbreeding and outbreeding on fitness and adaptive potential, particularly in relation to genetic rescue; (2) how “species” should be defined for conservation management; (3) deciding on how much and what type of genetic variation should be preserved; and (4) how we can move from descriptive genetics to actually understanding adaptive processes in the wild. None of the ideas presented are new; the purpose here is to serve as a reminder that many of the issues raised 30 years ago are still relevant but not completely resolved and would benefit from tackling afresh with modern tools, but considering historical perspectives.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mable, Professor Barbara
Authors: Mable, B. K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Conservation Genetics
ISSN (Online):1572-9737
Published Online:03 December 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Author
First Published:First published in Conservation Genetics 20(1): 89-100
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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