Effective population size remains a suitable, pragmatic indicator of genetic diversity for all species, including forest trees

Sean Hoban, Ivan Paz-Vinas, S Aitken , Laura Bertola, Martin F. Breed, Michael Bruford , C Funk , C Grueber , M Heuertz , P Hohenlohe , M Hunter , R Jaffe , M Lopes-Fernandes , J Mergeay , F Moharrek , David O'Brien, Gernot Segelbacher, C Vernesi , L Waits , L Laikre

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

Fady & Bozzano highlight some challenges to a proposed Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) indicator of genetic diversity based on effective population size, Ne (Fady and Bozzano, 2020; Hoban et al., 2020). We appreciate the thoughtful debate and concur that genetic diversity indicators must be reliable and scalable. We fully agree that “genetic diversity should be better considered in the CBD post-2020 framework to prevent the irreplaceable loss of biodiversity… existing indicators are far from satisfactory.” As Fady & Bozzano state, Ne is essential for monitoring vital aspects of genetic diversity: loss of genetic diversity due to drift (genetic erosion), inbreeding rate (genetic health), and potential for adaptation and long term survival (resilience) (Fady and Bozzano, 2020).
Original languageEnglish
Article number108906
Number of pages3
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume253
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • genetic diversity
  • population size
  • Species comparisons
  • plant populations
  • tree genetic diversity
  • forest trees

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