Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Andrea T. Kramer; Jennifer L. Ison; Mary V. Ashley; Henry F. Howe
    Date: 2008
    Source: Conservation Biology, Volume 22, No. 4, 878?885
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (774 KB)

    Description

    Theory predicts widespread loss of genetic diversity from drift and inbreeding in trees subjected to habitat fragmentation, yet empirical support of this theory is scarce. We argue that population genetics theory may be misapplied in light of ecological realities that, when recognized, require scrutiny of underlying evolutionary assumptions. One ecological reality is that fragment boundaries often do not represent boundaries for mating populations of trees that benefit from long-distance pollination, sometimes abetted by long-distance seed dispersal. Where fragments do not delineate populations, genetic theory of small populations does not apply. Even in spatially isolated populations, where genetic theory may eventually apply, evolutionary arguments assume that samples from fragmented populations represent trees that have had sufficient time to experience drift, inbreeding, and ultimately inbreeding depression, an unwarranted assumption where stands in fragments are living relicts of largely unrelated predisturbance populations. Genetic degradation may not be as important as ecological degradation for many decades following habitat fragmentation.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Kramer, Andrea T.; Ison, Jennifer L.; Ashley, Mary V.; Howe, Henry F. 2008. The paradox of forest fragmentation genetics. Conservation Biology, Volume 22, No. 4, 878?885

    Keywords

    forest fragmentation, forest genetics, gene dispersal, inbreeding, long-distance pollination, tree genetics

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/31611