The reduction of genetic diversity in threatened vertebrates and new recommendations regarding IUCN conservation rankings

The reduction of genetic diversity in threatened vertebrates and new recommendations regarding... Genetic diversity is necessary for evolutionary response to changing environmental conditions such as those facing many threatened and endangered species. To investigate the relationship between genetic diversity and conservation status, we conducted a systematic, quantitative review of vertebrate microsatellite data published since 1990: we screened 5165 previously published articles and identified 1941 microsatellite datasets spanning 17,988 loci that characterized wild populations distributed among five vertebrate classes. We analyzed these data in the context of conservation by comparing empirical estimates of heterozygosity and allelic richness between threatened and non-threatened species. We found that both heterozygosity and allelic richness are reduced in threatened species, suggesting that inbreeding and drift are both effective at removing genetic diversity in endangered populations. We then considered the criteria typically used to rank species of conservation concern (including declining population size, species range extent, and the number of mature individuals) to determine which of these criteria are most effective at identifying genetically depauperate species. However, we found that the existing criteria failed to systematically identify populations with low genetic diversity. To rectify this, we suggest a novel approach for identifying species of conservation need by estimating the expected loss of genetic diversity. We then evaluated the efficacy of our new approach and found that it performs significantly better than the existing methods for identifying species that merit conservation concern in part because of reduced genetic diversity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

The reduction of genetic diversity in threatened vertebrates and new recommendations regarding IUCN conservation rankings

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/the-reduction-of-genetic-diversity-in-threatened-vertebrates-and-new-soHIeWeJs0
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2015.07.025
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Genetic diversity is necessary for evolutionary response to changing environmental conditions such as those facing many threatened and endangered species. To investigate the relationship between genetic diversity and conservation status, we conducted a systematic, quantitative review of vertebrate microsatellite data published since 1990: we screened 5165 previously published articles and identified 1941 microsatellite datasets spanning 17,988 loci that characterized wild populations distributed among five vertebrate classes. We analyzed these data in the context of conservation by comparing empirical estimates of heterozygosity and allelic richness between threatened and non-threatened species. We found that both heterozygosity and allelic richness are reduced in threatened species, suggesting that inbreeding and drift are both effective at removing genetic diversity in endangered populations. We then considered the criteria typically used to rank species of conservation concern (including declining population size, species range extent, and the number of mature individuals) to determine which of these criteria are most effective at identifying genetically depauperate species. However, we found that the existing criteria failed to systematically identify populations with low genetic diversity. To rectify this, we suggest a novel approach for identifying species of conservation need by estimating the expected loss of genetic diversity. We then evaluated the efficacy of our new approach and found that it performs significantly better than the existing methods for identifying species that merit conservation concern in part because of reduced genetic diversity.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from Google Scholar, PubMed
Create lists to organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off