Multinational evaluation of genetic diversity indicators for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Monitoring framework

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Alicia Mastretta-Yanes, Jessica da Silva, Catherine E. Grueber, Luis Castillo-Reina, Viktoria Köppä, Brenna Forester, W. Chris Funk, Myriam Heuertz, Fumiko Ishihama, Rebecca Jordan, Joachim Mergeay, Ivan Paz-Vinas, Victor Julio Rincon-Parra, Maria Alejandra Rodriguez-Morales, Libertad Arredondo-Amezcua, Gaëlle Brahy, Matt DeSaix, Lily Durkee, Ashley Hamilton, Austin Koontz, Iris Lang, María Camila Latorre, Tanya Latty, Alexander Llanes-Quevedo, Anna J. MacDonald, Meg Mahoney, Caitlin Miller, Juan Francisco Ornelas, Santiago Ramírez-Barahona, Erica Robertson, Isa-Rita M. Russo, Metztli Arcila Santiago, Robyn Shaw, Glenn M. Shea, Per Sjögren-Gulve33, Emma Suzuki Spence, Taylor Stack, Sofia Suárez, Akio Takenaka, Henrik Thurfjell, Sheela Turbek, Marlien van der Merwe, Fleur Visser, Ana Wegier, Georgina Wood, Eugenia Zarza, Linda Laikre, Sean Hoban


In December 2022, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, in which 196 Parties, for the first time, committed to report on the status of genetic diversity for all species. To facilitate this reporting, three genetic diversity indicators were developed, two of which focus on the processes contributing to genetic diversity loss: the loss of genetically distinct populations (measured by complementary indicator “proportion of populations maintained within species”) and populations being too small to maintain genetic diversity (measured by headline indicator A4, “The proportion of populations within species with an effective population size > 500”). The major advantage of these indicators is that they can be estimated without DNA-based data. However, demonstrating the feasibility of this approach to all Parties for their national reporting, requires addressing methodological challenges of using empirical data gathered from diverse sources, across diverse taxonomic groups and for countries of varying socio-economic status and biodiversity levels. Here, we assess the genetic indicators for 919 taxa, representing 5,271 populations across nine countries, including megadiverse and developing economies. Data were available to calculate indicators for each country and taxonomic group (765 taxa [83%] had data for at least one indicator). Additionally, 41% of taxa (n=518) have lost at least one-tenth of their populations (complementary indicator [populations maintained] value < 0.9), while 58% of taxa (n=568) have all populations too small to sustain genetic diversity (headline indicator [Ne 500] value = 0). By comparing taxon indicator values to their GlobalRed List status, range size, and other factors, we found the loss of genetic diversity shown by these indicators would go unnoticed by other biodiversity assessments, highlighting the critical importance of monitoring and conserving genetic diversity using these indicators.



Biodiversity, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences


Biodiversity Indicators, COP15, Convention on Biological Diversity, effective population size, populations maintained


Published: 2023-10-16 22:21

Last Updated: 2023-10-17 05:21


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Data and Code Availability Statement:
Code is available at and data would be available upon publication