Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations

10 12 2016

logoThat is the title of a new textbook that will be available mid-2017.

After almost 6 years work, authors Dick Frankham, Jonathan Ballou, Katherine Ralls, Mark Eldridge, Michele Dudash, Charles Fenster, Bob Lacy & Paul Sunnucks have produced an advanced textbook/research monograph that aims to provoke a paradigm shift in the management of small, isolated population fragments of animals and plants.

One of the greatest unmet challenges in conservation biology is the genetic management of fragmented populations of threatened animal and plant species. More than a million small, isolated, population fragments of threatened species are likely suffering inbreeding depression, loss of evolutionary potential, and elevated extinction risks (genetic erosion). Re-establishing gene flow between populations is required to reverse these effects, but managers very rarely do this. On the contrary, molecular genetic methods are mainly being used to document genetic differentiation among populations, with most studies concluding that genetically differentiated populations should be managed separately (i.e., kept isolated), thereby dooming many populations to eventual extinction.

The need for a paradigm shift in genetic management of fragmented populations has been highlighted as a major issue in conservation. The rapidly advancing field of molecular genetics is continually providing new tools to measure the extent of population fragmentation and its genetic consequences. However, adequate guidance on how to use these data for effective conservation is still lacking, and many populations are going extinct principally for genetic reasons. Consequently, there is now urgent need for an authoritative textbook on the subject.

This accessible text is aimed at senior undergraduate and graduate level students interested in conservation biology, conservation genetics, and wildlife management. It will also be of particular relevance to conservation practitioners and natural resource managers, as well as a broader academic audience of conservation biologists and evolutionary ecologists.

The book is written in the style of the acclaimed Frankham, Ballou & Briscoe conservation genetics textbooks, with main-point boxes, dot points, summaries, figures, boxes, and attractive line drawings.

Oxford University Press has targeted book launch at the International Congress for Conservation Biology meeting in Colombia in July 2017.

The same team is also contracted to Oxford University Press to write a shorter, simpler A Practical Guide to Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations.


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