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Evolution through Genetic Exchange$
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Michael L. Arnold

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199229031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199229031.001.0001

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Implications for endangered taxa

Implications for endangered taxa

(p.151) Chapter 8 Implications for endangered taxa
Evolution through Genetic Exchange

Michael L. Arnold

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the positive and negative effects of genetic exchange on the fate of endangered flora and fauna. In particular, it considers the role that such gene flow may have (i) in replenishing populations with limited genetic variability; or (ii) in causing genetic assimilation of rare forms by more numerous, related taxa. It argues that if evolutionary diversification is indeed a web-like process, then we should not give weight to whether members of one evolutionary lineage exchange genes with another when attempting to determine a value for conservation. Instead, we should ask the question of whether genetic exchange can help or hinder the conservation of manageable units (i.e. taxa). The chapter also examines the hypothesis that invasive species sometimes originate through introgressive hybridization.

Keywords:   genetic exchange, endangered species, conservation, gene flow, introgressive hybridization

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