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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary insights from studies of geographic variation: Establishing a baseline and looking ahead to future change

Etterson, Julie R. [1].

The geographic structure of populations informs population management with climate change.

Ecological and evolutionary genetic studies that examine geographic variation among populations within the species range provide valuable information that informs the debate of how to manage wild species in the face of climate change.   For example, if populations are locally adapted to climate along environmental gradients, management may be necessary to maintain population fitness across the species range as climate change progresses.   Interventions such as the construction of corridors that facilitate gene flow may be especially valuable in highly fragmented habitats in highly isolated populations where genetic variation essential to ongoing adaptive evolution may be eroded by strong selection and drift.  In contrast, intervention may not be necessary for species persistence if populations exhibit patterns of plasticity that allow maintenance of fitness across a broad range of environments.  If management strategies such as assisted migration are recommended, it is critical to evaluate the genetic and geographic distance of propagule movement that enhances fitness but does not risk the negative effects of outbreeding depression.  The restoration context provides a natural experimental framework for evaluating these fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions that are important to making sound management decisions for the future.  In this seminar, I will discuss several research projects that address these fundamental questions and evaluate adaptive management strategies in forest and prairie ecosystems.  

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1 - University of Minnesota Duluth, Biology, 1035 Kirby Dr, SSB 207, Duluth, MN, 55812, United States

Climate change
Geographic patterns
Conservation management.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY08
Location: Firs North/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: SY08006
Abstract ID:781
Candidate for Awards:None

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