Genetic diversity is at the heart of conservation genetics.
Population size has a major impact on species survival.
- NOAA Tech
At this site (http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/pubs/TM/tm30/felsenstein.html), Joe Felsenstein discusses the problems of gene flow from fish hatchery populations into wild stocks.
Genetic effects are influenced by small, isolated populations.
- Analysis of the Likelihood of Extinction
This site (http://biology.anu.edu.au/research-groups/ecosys/Alex/ALEX.HTM#Contents) introduces you to some of the simulation software used to assess extinction risk based on a variety of ecological parameters, using an approach called population viability analysis.
Genetic erosion diminishes genetic diversity.
- Genetic Drift Simulation
Here is a pencil-and-paper simulation from the University of Arizona (http://www.biology.arizona.edu/evolution/act/drift/drift.html). This is a good tool for teaching this concept.
- Genetic Drift
This site (http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/simulations/jdk1.0/drift.html), from the University of Connecticut, lets you plug in allele frequencies and population size, and it graphs the results.
- Random Genetic Drift
This site (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/genetic-drift.html) is from Rebecca Irwin of The University of Tennessee at Martin. This simulation gives you a printout of allele frequencies that you can graph yourself.
- Gene Flow and Conservation
The effect of gene flow on fragmented populations is a major issue in conservation. This link (http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/papers/geneflow/) takes you to "Theoretical and Empirical Approaches to the Study of Gene Flow in Fragmented, Managed, and Continuous Populations," the proceedings from a workshop from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis; the study focuses on methods for assessing gene flow on small, ecological scales.
Conservation of genetic diversity is essential to species survival.
- International Plant Genetic Resources
This site (http://www.ipgri.cgiar.org/) is sponsored by an agricultural and research training organization devoted to the study and promotion of agricultural biodiversity.
- The Conservation Breeding Specialist Group
A division of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (http://www.cbsg.org/) is an international conservation organization whose mission is "to assist conservation of threatened animal and plant species through scientific management of small populations in wild habitats, with linkage to captive populations where needed." This site offers some interesting information on how that's done.