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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2014

J. Andrew DeWoody
Affiliation:
Purdue University, Indiana
John W. Bickham
Affiliation:
Purdue University, Indiana
Charles H. Michler
Affiliation:
Purdue University, Indiana
Krista M. Nichols
Affiliation:
Purdue University, Indiana
Gene E. Rhodes
Affiliation:
Purdue University, Indiana
Keith E. Woeste
Affiliation:
Purdue University, Indiana
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Summary

The world would be a wonderful place if our natural resources (e.g., forests, fish, and wildlife) needed no management and conservation was not a concern. In a world with a global human population approaching 7 billion and where most developed nations overconsume these resources, however, conservation is a concern and management is necessary for sustainable use. Historically, natural resource management strategies were determined by the collection and interpretation of basic field data. Today, as challenges to the sustainability and conservation of our natural resources arise, managers often need data that cannot be acquired using conventional methods. For example, a natural resource manager might want to know the number of successful breeders in a population or if genetic variation was being depleted because of a management practice. Traditional field craft alone cannot directly address such questions, but the answers can be determined with some precision if the field work is coupled with modern molecular genetic techniques.

Molecules can enlighten us about biological attributes that are virtually impossible to observe in the field (Avise 2004). Parentage analysis is one such arena in which genetic data can inform management practices (DeWoody 2005), but there are a host of others. For example, molecular data have revealed deep evolutionary splits in stocks at one time thought to be homogeneous. This finding has concomitant management implications (Hoffman et al. 2006). Similarly, molecules can enlighten us about biologies that are virtually impossible to observe in the field, such as pollen flow (Hamrick, this volume) or the physiology of migration (Nichols et al. 2008).

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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References

Avise, JC (2004) Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution. Sinauer, Sunderland, MA.Google Scholar
DeWoody, JA (2005) Molecular approaches to the study of parentage, relatedness and fitness: practical applications for wild animals. Journal of Wildlife Management, 69, 1400–1418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeWoody, JA, DeWoody, YD, Fiumera, A, Avise, JC (2000) On the number of reproductives contributing to a half-sib progeny array. Genetical Research (Cambridge), 75, 95–105.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hoffman, JI, Matson, CW, Amos, W, Loughlin, TR, Bickham, JW (2006) Deep genetic subdivision within a continuously distributed and highly vagile marine mammal, the Steller's sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). Molecular Ecology, 15, 2821–2832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Latch, EK, Rhodes, OE (2005) The effects of gene flow and population isolation on the genetic structure of reintroduced wild turkey populations: are genetic signatures of source populations retained?Conservation Genetics, 6, 981–997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nichols, KM, Felip, A, Wheeler, P, Thorgaard, GH (2008) The genetic basis of smoltification-related traits in Oncorhynchus mykiss. Genetics, 179, 1559–1575.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Victory, E, Glaubitz, JC, Rhodes, OE, Woeste, KE (2006) Genetic homogeneity in Juglans nigra (Juglandaceae) at nuclear microsatellites. American Journal of Botany, 93, 118–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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