Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 14, pp 4147–4163 | Cite as

Conservation genetics in a globally changing environment: present problems, paradoxes and future challenges

Review Paper


Despite recent advances in conservation genetics and related disciplines and the growing impact that conservation genetics is having in conservation biology, our knowledge on several key issues in the field is still insufficient. Here we identify some of these issues together with addressing several paradoxes which have to be solved before conservation genetics can face new challenges that are appearing in the transitory phase from the population genetics into the population genomics era. Most of these issues, paradoxes and challenges, like the central dogma of conservation genetics, the computational, theoretical and laboratory experiment achievements and limitations in the conservation genetics field have been discussed. Further knowledge on the consequences of inbreeding and outbreeding depression in wild populations as well as the capacity of small populations to adapt to local environmental conditions is also urgently needed. The integration of experimental, theoretical and applied conservation genetics will contribute to improve our understanding of methodological and applied aspects of conservation genetics.


Biodiversity Conservation genetics Global change Inbreeding depression Outbreeding depression Genetic markers Genetic structure Neutral vs selective variation Adaptive variation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Genetics, Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of AarhusAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Wildlife Ecology & BiodiversityNational Environmental Research InstituteRondeDenmark
  3. 3.Population and Conservation Genetics, Evolutionary GeneticsUniversity of GroningenHarenThe Netherlands

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