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Potentials for monitoring gene level biodiversity: using Sweden as an example
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9286-3361
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
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2008 (English)In: Biodiversity and Conservation, ISSN 0960-3115, E-ISSN 1572-9710, Vol. 17, no 4, 893-910 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Programs for monitoring biological diversity over time are needed to detect changes that can constitute threats to biological resources. The convention on biological diversity regards effective monitoring as necessary to halt the ongoing erosion of biological variation, and such programs at the ecosystem and species levels are enforced in several countries. However, at the level of genetic biodiversity, little has been accomplished, and monitoring programs need to be developed. We define “conservation genetic monitoring” to imply the systematic, temporal study of genetic variation within particular species/populations with the aim to detect changes that indicate compromise or loss of such diversity. We also (i) identify basic starting points for conservation genetic monitoring, (ii) review the availability of such information using Sweden as an example, (iii) suggest categories of species for pilot monitoring programs, and (iv) identify some scientific and logistic issues that need to be addressed in the context of conservation genetic monitoring. We suggest that such programs are particularly warranted for species subject to large scale enhancement and harvest—operations that are known to potentially alter the genetic composition and reduce the variability of populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 17, no 4, 893-910 p.
Keyword [en]
Conservation genetic monitoring, Genetic diversity, Human induced genetic change, Release of alien populations, Spatial genetic structure, Stocking, Temporal genetic variability
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Population Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42937DOI: 10.1007/s10531-008-9335-2ISI: 000254360200017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-42937DiVA: diva2:352311
Available from: 2010-09-20 Created: 2010-09-20 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Assessing and monitoring genetic patterns for conservation purposes with special emphasis on Scandinavia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing and monitoring genetic patterns for conservation purposes with special emphasis on Scandinavia
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Genetic variation is essential for biological evolution, for maintaining viability of populations, and to ensure ecosystem resilience. Increased human exploitation and environmental change result in rapid loss of biological variation, including genetic diversity. Measures to halt this trend require that biological diversity is assessed and monitored. Assessment of biodiversity includes identifying patterns of distribution of genetic variation within individual species.

This thesis focuses on spatial genetic structure and assessment of units for conservation in continuous environments without apparent migration barriers. Empirical data refer to Scandinavia and the model species are northern pike (Esox lucius), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Questions regarding monitoring genetic diversity and releases of alien populations are also addressed.

 The spatial genetic structure of the northern pike in the Baltic Sea is characterized by isolation by distance and continuous genetic change. Positive genetic correlation was found among pike within geographical distances of less than 150 km. This distance may be used to suggest management units in this area. For the brown trout, genetic monitoring identified two sympatric populations within a small mountain lake system. The situation is characterized by a clear genetic but no apparent phenotypic dichotomy. Scientific support for a genetically distinct Baltic harbour porpoise population is limited, and the spatial genetic structure of the harbour porpoise in Swedish waters needs to be clarified.

Data for launching conservation genetic monitoring programs is available for only a few Swedish species. Millions of forest trees, fish, and birds are released annually in Sweden and the documentation on these releases is poor. To meet responsibilities of safeguarding biodiversity and surveying biological effects of releases, there is an urgent need for studies aimed at evaluating genetic diversity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2010. 61 p.
Keyword
biological diversity, conservation genetics, management unit, spatial genetic structure, sympatric populations, genetic monitoring, release of alien populations, northern pike, brown trout, harbour porpoise
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Population Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42942 (URN)978-91-7447-130-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-11-12, De Geer-salen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Available from: 2010-10-21 Created: 2010-09-20 Last updated: 2010-10-15Bibliographically approved
2. Monitoring gene level biodiversity - aspects and considerations in the context of conservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Monitoring gene level biodiversity - aspects and considerations in the context of conservation
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The objectives of this thesis relate to questions needed to be addressed in the context of genetic monitoring for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity for the gene level. Genetic monitoring is quantifying temporal changes in population genetic metrics. Specific goals of this thesis include i) synthesizing existing information relevant to genetic monitoring of Swedish species, ii) providing a genetic baseline for the Swedish moose, iii) evaluating the relative performance of nuclear versus organelle genetic markers for detecting population divergence, iv) actually monitoring the genetic composition, structure, level of variation, and effective population size (Ne) and assessing the relation between Ne and the actual number of individuals for an unexploited brown trout population.

The concept of conservation genetic monitoring is defined and Swedish priority species for such monitoring are identified; they include highly exploited organisms such as moose, salmonid fishes, Norway spruce, Atlantic cod, and Atlantic herring. Results indicate that the Swedish moose might be more genetically divergent than previously anticipated and appears to be divided into at least three different subpopulations, representing a southern, a central, and a northern population.

The relative efficiency of nuclear and organelle markers depends on the relationship between the degree of genetic differentiation at the two types of markers. In turn, this relates to how far the divergence process has progressed.

For the monitored brown trout population no indication of systematic change of population structure or allele frequencies was observed over 30 years. Significant genetic drift was found, though, translating into an overall Ne-estimate of ~75. The actual number of adult fish (NC) was assessed as ~600, corresponding to an Ne/NC ratio of 0.13. In spite of the relatively small effective population size monitoring did not reveal loss of genetic variation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2011. 60 p.
Keyword
brown trout, conservation genetics, genetic drift, genetic monitoring, effective population size, moose, one-sample approach, spatial genetic structure, statistical power, temporal data
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Population Genetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62796 (URN)978-91-7447-353-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-09, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-11-17 Created: 2011-09-30 Last updated: 2011-11-09Bibliographically approved

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