The burden of genetic diversity

Habel, J C and Schmitt, T (2012) The burden of genetic diversity. Biological Conservation, 147 (1). pp. 270-274.

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In general, species with large ecological amplitudes are equipped with high genetic diversities. In contrast, more specialised species with narrow ecological amplitudes show low levels of genetic diversity. Generalist species are mostly rather marginally affected by recent land-use changes; specialist can be supported by specific conservation measures. We argue that, in the light of Conservation Genetics, species being ecologically intermediate between these two extremes are the most seriously affected ones by recent environmental changes. Such species which formerly occurred in large population networks have to sustain their high level of genetic variability via gene flow. Today, species from the latter group are negatively affected by rapid habitat collapses causing sudden lacks of population interconnectivity. Therefore, species with intermediate habitat demands and originally high genetic diversity might be at highest risk due to inbreeding depressions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: JCH was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The manuscript became strongly improved by two anonymous referees; we are grateful for their helpful remarks.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Genetic diversity; Genetic differentiation; Land use change; Vulnerability; Fitness; Specialist; Generalist
Author Affiliation: Natural History Museum Luxembourg, Invertebrate Biology, 25, rue Münster, L-2160 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Subjects: Crop Improvement > Genetics/Genomics
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2012 11:29
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2012 11:29
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