Questioning current methods for the indication of genetic diversity in forest genetic resources: A conceptual approach to the development of diversity descriptors by purpose

The main principle of gene conservation in forest tree species is to maintain genetic variation for persistence of the species under changing conditions. Evaluation of forest genetic resources and management methods requires criteria, formulated as necessary characteristics of genetic variation for this principle. Indication of the criteria then needs suitable descriptors of genetic variation. Since many widely applied descriptors are used for different criteria and different descriptors for the same criterion, and since some descriptors are interpreted in the context of unrealistic models, it is of vital importance to question the suitability of descriptors for different criteria. The basic research in the project therefore focusses on the analysis of the fulfillment of different criteria by existing variation descriptors and the development of new descriptors where needed. This will be accomplished by developing a classification of criteria by gene conservation purpose, conceptual analysis of existing descriptors to show where they fail to characterize genetic variation in a suitable manner, the design of new descriptors for specific criteria, and analysis of the portability of descriptors between models. Of particular interest for resource managers is a concluding analysis of the effects of using different descriptors on practical conservation decisions.

Granting institution / Fördernde Institution: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration /Laufzeit: 01. Juli 2008 - 31. Oktober 2009

Personnel / Personen:
Ziehe, Martin (Applicant / Antragsteller)
Gillet, Elizabeth M. (Co-worker / Bearbeiterin)
Gregorius, Hans-Rolf (Cooperation partner / Kooperationspartner)

Link to project in / Verweis auf Projekt in GEPRIS (Geförderte Projekte der DFG)