Global biodiversity is rapidly declining, threatening humans, ecosystems, and the services that society relies upon. Monitoring and understanding the extent of biodiversity declines can support policy decisions. Genetic diversity is the foundation of biodiversity, determining the capacity of populations to adapt to environmental changes and to sustain function and structure in all ecosystems. While the availability of genetic diversity data has exponentially increased in the past decade, genetic data have been poorly mobilized to understand biodiversity change at large scales; consequently, there is limited integration into management and policy. To solve this challenge, large-scale synthesis of genetic diversity data (i.e. a macrogenetic analysis) will be used to better assess genetic diversity patterns, their predictors and conservation efforts. We will combine expertise across taxa, spatial and temporal scales, and topics in genetics, ecology and geography, to build a multi-species genetic database enriched with informative metadata. To understand the spatio-environmental distribution, the relationship of genetic variability with climate, species richness, and anthropogenic factors will be integrated. The database will be used to create genetic diversity maps across broad numbers of populations, species and ecosystems, of great value to conservation planning and environmental impact assessments by natural resource managers. The outputs of the project will thus be useful to researchers and decision makers working to prioritize the preservation of biodiversity and adaptive potential with limited resources. The protection of genetic diversity as a natural resource is critical for supporting population resilience, and is integral to innovation, ecosystem services, and nature’s contribution to people.Principal Investigator(s):
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“A DNA strand illustration”
“macrogenetics world with dna strand logo”