Conservation and the Genetics of Populations / Edition 1

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Conservation and the Genetics of Populations gives a comprehensive overview of the essential background, concepts, and tools needed to understand how genetic information can be used to develop conservation plans for species threatened with extinction.
  • Provides a thorough understanding of the genetic basis of biological problems in conservation.
  • Uses a balance of data and theory, and basic and applied research, with examples taken from both the animal and plant kingdoms.
  • An associated website contains example data sets and software programs to illustrate population genetic processes and methods of data analysis.
  • Discussion questions and problems are included at the end of each chapter to aid understanding.
  • Features Guest Boxes written by leading people in the field including James F. Crow, Nancy FitzSimmons, Robert C. Lacy, Michael W. Nachman, Michael E. Soule, Andrea Taylor, Loren H. Rieseberg, R.C. Vrijenhoek, Lisette Waits, Robin S. Waples and Andrew Young.

Supplementary information designed to support Conservation and the Genetics of Populations including:

  • Downloadable sample chapter
  • Answers to questions and problems
  • Data sets illustrating problems from the book
  • Data analysis software programs
  • Website links

An Instructor manual CD-ROM for this title is available. Please contact our Higher Education team at for more information.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I have much enjoyed reading this text and recommend it highly to anybody who may be interested in general issues of conservation of animals or plants. It belongs into all zoo libraries and should be read by all who are responsible for any aspect of conservation."
Journal of Heredity

Conservation and the Genetics of Populations is an advanced undergraduate - introductory graduate text on conservation genetics, including introductions and examples of many of the new genetic developments… Allendorf and Luikart have produced a worthwhile text that shows how a conservation genetics and evolution framework can be used to understand important forces in conservation.”
TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution

"This important book provides a thorough understanding of the genetic basis of biological problems in conservation... essential reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of conservation genetics, natural resource management and conservation biology."
Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment

"An excellent, authoritative and scholarly book."
Environmental Conservation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405121453
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/14/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 664
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred W. Allendorf is a Regents Professor at the University of Montana and a Professorial Research Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. His primary research interests are conservation and population genetics. He has published over 200 articles on the population genetics and conservation of fish, amphibians, mammals, invertebrates, and plants. He is a past President of the American Genetic Association, served as Director of the Population Biology Program of the National Science Foundation, and has served on the editorial boards of Conservation Biology, Molecular Ecology, Evolution, Conservation Genetics, Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the Journal of Heredity. He has taught conservation genetics at the University of Montana, University of Oregon, University of Minnesota, and Victoria University of Wellington.

Gordon Luikart is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Montana and a Visiting Professor in the Center for Investigation of Biodiversity and Genetic Resources at the University of Porto, Portugal. He was a Research Scientist with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique(CNRS)at the University Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France. His research focuses on the conservation and genetics of wild and domestic animals, and includes nearly 50 publications in the field. He was a Fulbright Scholar at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, is a member of the IUCN specialists group for Caprinae (mountain ungulate) conservation, and has served on the editorial boards of Conservation Biology and Molecular Ecology Notes.

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Table of Contents

Authors of Guest Boxes.


List of Symbols.


1 Introduction.

1.1 Genetics and conservation.

1.2 What should we conserve?.

1.3 How should we conserve biodiversity?.

1.4 Applications of genetics to conservation.

Guest Box 1 by L. S. Mills and M. E. Soulè: The role of genetics in conservation.

2 Phenotypic Variation in Natural Populations.

2.1 Color pattern.

2.2 Morphology.

2.3 Behavior.

2.4 Differences among populations.

Guest Box 2 by C. J. Foote: Looks can be deceiving: countergradient variation in secondary sexual color in sympatric morphs of sockeye salmon.

3 Genetic Variation in Natural Populations: Chromosomes and Proteins.

3.1 Chromosomes.

3.2 Protein electrophoresis.

3.3 Genetic variation within populations.

3.4 Genetic divergence among populations.

3.5 Strengths and limitations of protein electrophoresis.

Guest Box 3 by A. Young and B. G. Murray: Management implications of polploidy in a cytologically complex self-incompatible herb.

4 Genetic Variation in Natural Populations: DNA.

4.1 Mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA.

4.2 Single copy nuclear loci.

4.3 Multilocus techniques.

4.4 Sex-linked markers.

4.5 DNA sequences.

4.6 Additional techniques and the future.

4.7 Genetic variation in natural populations.

Guest Box 4 by N. N. FitzSimmons: Multiple markers uncover marine turtle behavior.


5 Random Mating Populations: Hardy–Weinberg Principle.

5.1 The Hardy–Weinberg principle.

5.2 Hardy–Weinberg proportions.

5.3 Testing for Hardy–Weinberg proportions.

5.4 Estimation of allele frequencies.

5.5 Sex-linked loci.

5.6 Estimation of genetic variation.

Guest Box 5 by V. Castric and L. Bernatchez: Testing alternative explanations for deficiencies of heterozygotes in populations of brook trout in small lakes.

6 Small Populations and Genetic Drift.

6.1 Genetic drift.

6.2 Changes in allele frequency.

6.3 Loss of genetic variation: the inbreeding effect of small populations.

6.4 Loss of allelic diversity.

6.5 Founder effect.

6.6 Genotypic proportions in small populations.

6.7 Fitness effects of genetic drift.

Guest Box 6 by P. L. Leberg and D. L. Rogowski: The inbreeding effect of small population size reduces population growth rate in mosquitofish.

7 Effective Population Size.

7.1 Concept of effective population size.

7.2 Unequal sex ratio.

7.3 Nonrandom number of progeny.

7.4 Fluctuating population size.

7.5 Overlapping generations.

7.6 Variance effective population size.

7.7 Cytoplasmic genes.

7.8 Gene genealogies and lineage sorting.

7.9 Limitations of effective population size.

7.10 Effective population size in natural populations.

Guest Box 7 by C. R. Miller and L. P. Waits: Estimation of effective population size in Yellowstone grizzly bears.

8 Natural Selection.

8.1 Fitness.

8.2 Single locus with two alleles.

8.3 Multiple alleles.

8.4 Frequency-dependent selection.

8.5 Natural selection in small populations.

8.6 Natural selection and conservation.

Guest Box 8 by C. A. Stockwell and M. L. Collyer: Rapid adaptation and conservation.

9 Population Subdivision.

9.1 F-statistics.

9.2 Complete isolation.

9.3 Gene flow.

9.4 Gene flow and genetic drift.

9.5 Cytoplasmic genes and sex-linked markers.

9.6 Gene flow and natural selection.

9.7 Limitations of FST and other measures of subdivision.

9.8 Estimation of gene flow.

9.9 Population subdivision and conservation.

Guest Box 9 by C. S. Baker and F. B. Pichler: Hector’s dolphin population structure and conservation.

10 Multiple Loci.

10.1 Gametic disequilibrium.

10.2 Small population size.

10.3 Natural selection.

10.4 Population subdivision.

10.5 Hybridization.

10.6 Estimation of gametic disequilibrium.

Guest Box 10 by S. H. Forbes: Dating hybrid populations using gametic disequilibrium.

11 Quantitative Genetics.

11.1 Heritability.

11.2 Selection on quantitative traits.

11.3 Quantitative trait loci (QTLs).

11.4 Genetic drift and bottlenecks.

11.5 Divergence among populations (QST).

11.6 Quantitative genetics and conservation.

Guest Box 11 by D. W. Coltman: Response to trophy hunting in bighorn sheep.

12 Mutation.

12.1 Process of mutation.

12.2 Selectively neutral mutations.

12.3 Harmful mutations.

12.4 Advantageous mutations.

12.5. Recovery from a bottleneck.

Guest Box 12 by M. W. Nachman: Color evolution via different mutations in pocket mice.


13 Inbreeding Depression.

13.1 Pedigree analysis.

13.2 Gene drop analysis.

13.3 Estimation of F and relatedness with molecular markers.

13.4 Causes of inbreeding depression.

13.5 Measurement of inbreeding depression.

13.6 Genetic load and purging.

Guest Box 13 by R. C. Lacy: Understanding inbreeding depression: 20 years of experiments with Peromyscus mice.

14 Demography and Extinction.

14.1 Estimation of population size.

14.2 Inbreeding depression and extinction.

14.3 Population viability analysis.

14.4 Loss of phenotypic variation.

14.5 Loss of evolutionary potential.

14.6 Mitochondrial DNA.

14.7 Mutational meltdown.

14.8 Long-term persistence.

14.9 The 50/500 rule.

Guest Box 14 by A. C. Taylor: Noninvasive population size estimation in wombats.

15 Metapopulations and Fragmentation.

15.1 The metapopulation concept.

15.2 Genetic variation in metapopulations.

15.3 Effective population size.

15.4 Population divergence and fragmentation.

15.5 Genetic rescue.

15.6 Long-term population viability.

Guest Box 15 by R. C. Vrijenhoek: Fitness loss and genetic rescue in stream-dwelling topminnows.

16 Units of Conservation.

16.1 What should we try to protect?.

16.2 Systematics and taxonomy.

16.3 Phylogeny reconstruction.

16.4 Description of genetic relationships within species.

16.5 Units of conservation.

16.6 Integrating genetic, phenotypic, and environmental information.

Guest Box 16 by R. S. Waples: Identifying conservation units in Pacific salmon.

17 Hybridization.

17.1 Natural hybridization.

17.2 Anthropogenic hybridization.

17.3 Fitness consequences of hybridization.

17.4 Detecting and describing hybridization.

17.5 Hybridization and conservation.

Guest Box 17 by L. H. Rieseberg: Hybridization and the conservation of plants.

18 Conservation Breeding and Restoration.

18.1 The role of conservation breeding.

18.2 Reproductive technologies and genome banking.

18.3 Founding populations for conservation breeding programs.

18.4 Genetic drift in captive populations.

18.5 Natural selection and adaptation to captivity.

18.6 Genetic management of conservation breeding programs.

18.7 Supportive breeding.

18.8 Reintroductions and translocations.

Guest Box 18 by J. V. Briskie: Effects of population bottlenecks on introduced species of birds.

19 Invasive Species.

19.1 Why are invasive species so successful?.

19.2 Genetic analysis of introduced species.

19.3 Establishment and spread of invasive species.

19.4 Hybridization as a stimulus for invasiveness.

19.5 Eradication, management, and control.

Guest Box 19 by J. L. Maron: Rapid adaptation of invasive populations of St John’s Wort.

20 Forensic and Management Applications of Genetic Identification.

20.1 Species identification.

20.2 Individual identification and probability of identity.

20.3 Parentage testing.

20.4 Sex identification.

20.5 Population assignment.

20.6 Population composition analysis.

Guest Box 20 by L. P. Waits: Microsatellite DNA genotyping identifies problem bear and cubs.


Appendix: Probability and Statistics.

Guest Box A by J. F. Crow: Is mathematics necessary?.



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