Conservation Genetics

  • David B. Neale
  • Nicholas C. Wheeler


The topic of conservation genetics in forestry dates to nearly the beginning of breeding and genetic research in forest trees. In the early literature, the topic was often labeled gene conservation, whereas more recently it is generally labeled as conservation genetics, the distinction being that it is not individual genes that are conserved but entire genomes found in individual trees. The desire and justification for conservation genetics in forestry emerged both from the perspective of preserving genetic diversity for future breeding applications (Zobel 1978) and more broadly to avoid extinction of species due to the loss of genetic diversity (Ledig 1988; Eriksson et al. 1993). In the latter case, the driving principle is to maintain adaptive evolutionary potential and to a lesser extent limit inbreeding in naturally outcrossing species.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Neale
    • 1
  • Nicholas C. Wheeler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.ConsultantCentraliaUSA

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