Genetic Monitoring: Development of Tools for Conservation and Management

Principal Investigator(s): 

Fred Allendorf and Michael Schwartz

Genetic monitoring has the potential to become a valuable tool for resource managers in the management and conservation of wild populations of plants and animals. Rapid recent advances in molecular genetic techniques now make it relatively easy and inexpensive to quantify temporal changes in the genetics of populations over tens or even hundreds of years (i.e., genetic monitoring). However, it is currently unknown under what circumstances genetic monitoring could provide valuable information or what genetic data are required for effective genetic monitoring. This Working Group 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 outcome will be rigorous and practical guidelines for the design of genetic monitoring strategies useful to resource managers in conducting improved assessments of population trends and processes.

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