Genetic Diversity in Natural Resources Management

Authored by: Thomas Joseph McGreevy , Jeffrey A. Markert

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ENRL-120047430

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Abstract

Genetic diversity is the raw material used by natural selection to allow a population to adapt to a changing environment. It is an integral component of biodiversity that must be conserved. Molecular genetic techniques have been used to quantify genetic diversity and inform management decisions for wild and captive populations since the 1980s, but the full utility of these tools is yet to be realized. One major limitation has been the communication disconnect between research scientists and resource managers in some jurisdictions. The two main goals of this entry are 1) to help bridge this gap by providing an overview of the type of information that can be gained with molecular genetic techniques to inform a wide range of management decisions and 2) to discuss future directions that will reduce the cost and expand the utility of molecular genetic techniques in the management of natural resources.

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