Why evolutionary biologists should get seriously involved in ecological monitoring and applied biodiversity assessment programs

Brodersen, Jakob; Seehausen, Ole (2014). Why evolutionary biologists should get seriously involved in ecological monitoring and applied biodiversity assessment programs. Evolutionary applications, 7(9), pp. 968-983. Wiley 10.1111/eva.12215

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While ecological monitoring and biodiversity assessment programs are widely implemented and relatively well developed to survey and monitor the structure and dynamics of populations and communities in many ecosystems, quantitative assessment and monitoring of genetic and phenotypic diversity that is important to understand evolutionary dynamics is only rarely integrated. As a consequence, monitoring programs often fail to detect changes in these key components of biodiversity until after major loss of diversity has occurred. The extensive efforts in ecological monitoring have generated large data sets of unique value to macro-scale and long-term ecological research, but the insights gained from such data sets could be multiplied by the inclusion of evolutionary biological approaches. We argue that the lack of process-based evolutionary thinking in ecological monitoring means a significant loss of opportunity for research and conservation. Assessment of genetic and phenotypic variation within and between species needs to be fully integrated to safeguard biodiversity and the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in natural ecosystems. We illustrate our case with examples from fishes and conclude with examples of ongoing monitoring programs and provide suggestions on how to improve future quantitative diversity surveys.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Brodersen, Jakob and Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1752-4571

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

20 Jul 2015 15:21

Last Modified:

05 Jul 2017 16:57

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/eva.12215

PubMed ID:

25553061

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.70358

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/70358

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