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Evolutionary EcologyThe Trinidadian Guppy$
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Anne E. Magurran

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198527855

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198527855.001.0001

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Conserving a natural experiment

Conserving a natural experiment

(p.133) 7 Conserving a natural experiment
Evolutionary Ecology

Anne E. Magurran

Oxford University Press

The guppy raises three different classes of conservation issues. First, the species is a useful model for freshwater fish species — one of the most endangered vertebrate groups. Second, although guppy populations are generally large and the species is widely distributed across Trinidad, some of the diversity that has provided such rich material for evolutionary biology is under threat from pollution, habitat loss, exotic introductions, and so on. Guppy populations are also potentially at risk from scientists who observe, collect, and manipulate guppy populations. Artificial introductions have proved very informative but may lead to irreversible changes in a river. Finally, introductions of guppies to countries outside their range, either for the control of malaria vectors, or through escapes of ornamental fish, can adversely affect vulnerable faunas. This chapter discusses these issues.

Keywords:   model species, conservation, inbreeding, pollution, habitat loss, population viability, distribution of research effort, experimental manipulations, exotics

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