Friday, November 11, 2011
Critical role for evolutionary biology in adaptation of nature
...We think the role of evolutionary principles in conservation biology will expand in the future so that the following objectives of ecosystem adaptation can be achieved.
1. Reveal the effects of global change on biological diversity.
2. Understand natural resilience to global change.
3. Craft interventions to minimize effects of global change.
4. Predict responses to intervention.
...Conservation professionals and the public need to define the key objectives of conservation and find ways to achieve those objectives. Toward the former, we suggest a goal of maximizing genetic diversity to encourage adaptive evolution and increased recognition that populations and communities are likely to change in profound ways. To the latter, we argue that evolutionary principles offer the greatest potential to understand the future trajectory of biological diversity and enhance the likelihood of desirable conservation outcomes."