Working Group

Genetic monitoring: development of tools for conservation and management

PI(s): Fred Allendorf (University of Montana-Missoula)
Michael Schwartz (Rocky Mountain Research Station)
Start Date: 1-Sep-2007
End Date: 31-Aug-2009
Keywords: management of natural populations, conservation biology, gene structure and function, climate change

Genetic monitoring has the potential to become a valuable tool for the management and conservation of populations. Recent rapid advances in molecular genetic techniques make it relatively easy and inexpensive to quantify temporal changes in the genetics of populations over tens or even hundreds of years. However, it is currently unknown under what circumstances genetic monitoring would provide valuable information or what genetic data are required for effective genetic monitoring. We propose a working group that will address these issues in order to provide guidance for resource managers and policy makers. We will also evaluate the potential for using genetic monitoring of candidate genes likely to be affected by climate change and other forms of stress in order to understand evolutionary responses to environmental changes. The results of this working group will be rigorous and practical guidelines for the design of genetic monitoring strategies and should lead to improved assessments of population trends and evolutionary processes.

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