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Title: Quantitative genetics in natural populations: Means of monitoring natural biological processes

Author: Milligan, Brook G.;

Date: 2001

Source: In: Maschinski, Joyce; Holter, Louella, tech. eds. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: Proceedings of the Third Conference; 2000 September 25-28; Flagstaff, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-23. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 186-190.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: One of the goals of conservation biology is to maintain the integrity of natural processes in populations of rare plants. In the short term one of the main concerns is often whether the mating system of rare plants is disrupted, for example, by fragmentation. In the long term one of the main concerns is often whether small isolated populations maintain enough genetic variation to respond to selection due to human-induced environmental changes. Management of rare plant populations would, therefore, be supported by tools enabling the effective monitoring of these and similar processes. Unfortunately, direct measures are often difficult, time consuming, or expensive to obtain and therefore not useful for monitoring efforts. We are developing some simple genetic-based methods for quantifying both mating systems and the expected response to selection. They rely on joint genetic and phenotypic data obtained from field-collected samples and obviate the need for intensive breeding designs and common gardens that typify quantitative genetic studies. As a result, they will be directly applicable to monitoring populations of rare plants, and will enable better efforts directed toward maintaining the integrity of natural resources.

Keywords: plant conservation, genetics, demography, reproductive biology, monitoring, endangered species

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Milligan, Brook G. 2001. Quantitative genetics in natural populations: Means of monitoring natural biological processes. In: Maschinski, Joyce; Holter, Louella, tech. eds. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: Proceedings of the Third Conference; 2000 September 25-28; Flagstaff, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-23. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 186-190.

 


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