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Old 07-23-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default Pandas...gene diversity and habitat connectivity

Another instance of habitat isolation working against the survival of a species.
Do we need at least a general understanding of these issues throughout the population for our governments to effectively address?

For pandas, there is a mountain high enough, there is a valley low enough

Quote:
Fuwen Wei, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, worked with a team of researchers to study giant pandas in the Xiaoxiangling and Daxiangling mountains. He said, "These results suggest that gene flow will be enhanced if the connectivity between the currently fragmented bamboo forests is increased. This may be of importance to conservation efforts as gene flow is one of the most important factors for maintaining genetic diversity within a species and counteracting the negative effects of habitat fragmentation."
BioMed Central Limited (2010, July 21). For pandas, there is a mountain high enough, there is a valley low enough. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2010/07/100722205624.htm
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:11 AM   #2
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Our American Pica comes to mind as being in the same boat as their Panda. Check this out Gloria, "Many natural populations are threatened not only by a dramatic reduction in total area of available habitat but also by increasing habitat fragmentation and degradation leading to declining population sizes and barriers to gene flow if exchange of individuals between subpopulations is restricted [1-3]. Small populations often suffer from reduction of genetic diversity due to genetic drift and inbreeding effects [4-6]. Negative effects such as increased rates of allelic loss, fixation of deleterious alleles and decreased average individual heterozygosity relative to the overall population were observed by both, theoretical and empirical studies [7,8]. The loss of genetic variation can lead to short-term reduction of fitness components such as survival, reproductive output, growth rates and to impaired ability to adapt to long-term changes in the environment [7,9-13]. An increasing number of studies indicates that host genetic diversity plays an important role in buffering populations against pathogens and widespread epidemics [6,14-20]. Study of the genetic effects of population fragmentation is therefore of central importance for conservation biology [21].", Frontiers in Zoology | Full text | The importance of immune gene variability (MHC) in evolutionary ecology and conservation.
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