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Compromising genetic diversity in the wild: Unmonitored large-scale release of plants and animals

Posted date: March 15, 2012
Publication Year: 
2010
Authors: Laikre, Linda; Schwartz, Michael K.; Waples, Robin S.; Ryman, Nils; Allendorf, F. W.; Baker, C. S.; Gregovich, D. P.; Hansen, M. M.; Jackson, J. A.; Kendall, K. C.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Neel, M. C.; Olivieri, I.; Short Bull, R.; Stetz, J. B.; Tallmon, D. A.; Vojta, C. D.; Waller, D. M.
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 25: 520-529.

Abstract

Large-scale exploitation of wild animals and plants through fishing, hunting and logging often depends on augmentation through releases of translocated or captively raised individuals. Such releases are performed worldwide in vast numbers. Augmentation can be demographically and economically beneficial but can also cause four types of adverse genetic change to wild populations: (1) loss of genetic variation, (2) loss of adaptations, (3) change of population composition, and (4) change of population structure. While adverse genetic impacts are recognized and documented in fisheries, little effort is devoted to actually monitoring them. In forestry and wildlife management, genetic risks associated with releases are largely neglected. We outline key features of programs to effectively monitor consequences of such releases on natural populations.

Citation

Laikre, Linda; Schwartz, Michael K.; Waples, Robin S.; Ryman, Nils; Allendorf, F. W.; Baker, C. S.; Gregovich, D. P.; Hansen, M. M.; Jackson, J. A.; Kendall, K. C.; McKelvey, K.; Neel, M. C.; Olivieri, I.; Short Bull, R.; Stetz, J. B.; Tallmon, D. A.; Vojta, C. D.; Waller, D. M. 2010. Compromising genetic diversity in the wild: Unmonitored large-scale release of plants and animals. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 25: 520-529.