Mediterranean forest genetic diversity and adaptive conservation strategies [article]

Aristotelis C. Papageorgiou
2013 Figshare  
Mediterranean forest genetic diversity and adaptive conservation strategies Genetic diversity and the genetic system of a forest population Biodiversity is clearly classified at three levels (genes, species and ecosystems) in almost all conservation policy documents and strategies and the importance of its genetic component for the adaptation and survival of the other two components is broadly recognized. However, genetic diversity is usually a small part of global, regional and local
more » ... and local biodiversity conservation plans and strategies, mainly due to the practical difficulty for its description and quantification. At the same time, a major misunderstanding occurs, as most stakeholders and several scientists consider an expensive laboratory genetic inventory as the primary necessity prior any conservation decision and frequently consider the genes recorded in the laboratories as the target for future conservation activities. However, the role of genetic research in conservation is not to assess genetic variation per se, but rather to describe the parameters that shape genetic diversity, to identify threats, to model scenarios and to monitor the results of conservation measures. More than maintaining genetic diversity of species in an ecosystem, it is important to maintain the mechanisms that produce high levels of diversity and connect subsequent generations with each other. This "genetic system" includes all evolutionary forces that act on a certain forest population and its function secures adaptability in the future. Mediterranean forest genetic diversity and climate change Mediterranean forests are characterized by high biological diversity at all levels. Mediterranean populations of tree species having a broader European expansion are genetically more diverse than populations located in northern latitudes. Populations and species often have a patchy distribution and are highly differentiated. At the same time, several species have a large and extensive distribution over different environments. The [...]
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.155662.v1 fatcat:zw3cc4qymjerfm3t7anavwg7da