Call for a Paradigm Shift in the Genetic Management of Fragmented Populations

Katherine Ralls, Jonathan D. Ballou, Michele R. Dudash, Mark D.B. Eldridge, Charles B. Fenster, Robert C. Lacy, Paul Sunnucks, Richard Frankham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Thousands of small populations are at increased risk of extinction because genetics and evolutionary biology are not well-integrated into conservation planning–a major lost opportunity for effective actions. We propose that if the risk of outbreeding depression is low, the default should be to evaluate restoration of gene flow to small inbred populations of diploid outbreeding organisms that were isolated by human activities within the last 500 years, rather than inaction. We outline the elements of a scientific-based genetic management policy for fragmented populations of plants and animals, and discuss the reasons why the current default policy is, inappropriately, inaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12412
Number of pages6
JournalConservation Letters
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Coancestry
  • evolutionary rescue
  • fragmented populations
  • genetic management
  • genetic rescue
  • kinship
  • outbreeding depression
  • species delineation

Cite this

Ralls, K., Ballou, J. D., Dudash, M. R., Eldridge, M. D. B., Fenster, C. B., Lacy, R. C., ... Frankham, R. (2018). Call for a Paradigm Shift in the Genetic Management of Fragmented Populations. Conservation Letters, 11(2), [e12412]. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12412
Ralls, Katherine ; Ballou, Jonathan D. ; Dudash, Michele R. ; Eldridge, Mark D.B. ; Fenster, Charles B. ; Lacy, Robert C. ; Sunnucks, Paul ; Frankham, Richard. / Call for a Paradigm Shift in the Genetic Management of Fragmented Populations. In: Conservation Letters. 2018 ; Vol. 11, No. 2.
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Ralls, K, Ballou, JD, Dudash, MR, Eldridge, MDB, Fenster, CB, Lacy, RC, Sunnucks, P & Frankham, R 2018, 'Call for a Paradigm Shift in the Genetic Management of Fragmented Populations' Conservation Letters, vol. 11, no. 2, e12412. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12412

Call for a Paradigm Shift in the Genetic Management of Fragmented Populations. / Ralls, Katherine; Ballou, Jonathan D.; Dudash, Michele R.; Eldridge, Mark D.B.; Fenster, Charles B.; Lacy, Robert C.; Sunnucks, Paul; Frankham, Richard.

In: Conservation Letters, Vol. 11, No. 2, e12412, 01.03.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Ballou, Jonathan D.

AU - Dudash, Michele R.

AU - Eldridge, Mark D.B.

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AU - Lacy, Robert C.

AU - Sunnucks, Paul

AU - Frankham, Richard

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KW - evolutionary rescue

KW - fragmented populations

KW - genetic management

KW - genetic rescue

KW - kinship

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KW - species delineation

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Ralls K, Ballou JD, Dudash MR, Eldridge MDB, Fenster CB, Lacy RC et al. Call for a Paradigm Shift in the Genetic Management of Fragmented Populations. Conservation Letters. 2018 Mar 1;11(2). e12412. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12412