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Managing Genetic Diversity

A new resource released  provides more fuel to the ongoing debate about provenance. Learn what scientist Linda Broadhurst has to say about how to manage genetic diversity in remnant vegetation and the implications for local provenance seed. Some key points have been provided in this technical note.

Broadhurst LM (2007) Managing Genetic Diversity in Remnant Vegetation: Implications for Local Provenance Seed Selection and Landscape Restoration. Technical Note 01/2007, Land and Water Australia, ACT. (Online Resource) http://products.lwa.gov.au/downloads/publications_pdf/PK071323.pdf (Accessed: August 2007)

Summary of key points:

  • Fragmentation of Australia's native vegetation is threatening the long term persistence of remnant plant populations even among the more abundant or common plant species.
  • Research has assessed the importance of several genetic and demographic factors for maintaining healthy remnant populations.
  • Population size and isolation play important roles in determining the persistence of remnant vegetation. Small populations (less than 100-200 reproductive plants) are highly susceptible to declining seed production, loss of genetic diversity, increased inbreeding leading to poor seedling vigour and increased hybridisation.
  • Results from this study have led to a number of recommendations on how to manage remnant populations including maintaining large reproductive populations above 100-200 individuals, minimising the distance between populations, and managing populations on the landscape level rather than as independent groups of plants.
  • Seed sourced from remnant populations suffering poor genetic health will probably produce poor revegetation results.
  • Improving and maintaining the health of remnant vegetation will ensure their long term persistence and provide more high quality seed for revegetation projects.  

Read the pdf here http://products.lwa.gov.au/downloads/publications_pdf/PK071323.pdf
 
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