Conservation macrogenetics

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Chloé Schmidt, Sean Hoban, Walter Jetz


Genetic diversity is a core aspect of biodiversity that has been underrepresented in global conservation policy but is gaining rapidly increasing recognition. Conservation geneticists have traditionally focused on identifying, managing, and safeguarding the adaptive potential of specific populations or species. However, for almost all species, conservation relevant, population-level genetic data is lacking. This limits the extent to which genetic diversity can be monitored, reported, and used for conservation policy and decision-making. Fortunately, rapid growth of open access repositories of genetic data holds great promise for conservation applications. Macrogenetics is an emerging discipline that explores patterns of, and processes underlying, population genetic composition at broad taxonomic and spatial scales by aggregating and reanalyzing thousands of previously published genetic datasets. Here we explain how focusing macrogenetic tools on conservation needs, or “conservation macrogenetics”, offers new opportunities to support genetic monitoring and decision-making for conservation practice. Conservation macrogenetics also provides an empirical basis for considering how anthropogenic drivers and policy decisions jointly affect multiple levels of biodiversity (genes, species, ecosystems) to better understand the complexity and resilience of biological systems.



Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


genetic diversity, biodiversity, macroecology, SGDCs, landscape genetics, essential biodiversity variables, biogeography


Published: 2023-04-27 05:42

Last Updated: 2023-09-08 07:33

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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