In their 2009 review of 617 peer-reviewed journal articles between 1997 and 2007, Feld et al. (2009) were able to list 531 indicators for biodiversity and ecosystem services encompassing a wide range of ecosystems (forests, grasslands scrublands, wetlands, rivers, lakes, soils and agro-ecosystems) and spatial scales (from patch to global scale). They found that “despite its multiple dimensions, biodiversity is usually equated with species richness only”, mostly at regional and finer spatial check details scales. Regional to global scale indicators were less frequent than local indicators and
mostly consisted of physical and area fragmentation measures. Despite their role and potential value across scales and habitats, “functional, structural and genetic components of biodiversity LDN-193189 in vivo [were] poorly addressed”. Genetic diversity was included in less than 5% of the 531 biodiversity indicators analyzed. This lack of genetic diversity indicators has repeatedly been pointed out by the scientific community (e.g. Laikre, 2010 and Laikre et al., 2010). It has been recognized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity ( SCBD, 2010, cf. also Walpole et al., 2009) and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 allows for improved coverage of genetic diversity. Genetic diversity is – or has been – perceived as complex and costly to measure and the task of identifying relevant indicators therefore considered close to impossible. At present, the genetic diversity of terrestrial domesticated animals reported by FAO and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is the only indicator reported under Aichi Target 13 on genetic diversity (Chenery et al., 2013, Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, BIP, 2013). A few additional indicators of relevance to genetic diversity are reported within the BIP (cf. Chenery et al., 2013 and BIP, 2013). Although genetic diversity continues to be poorly covered, there mafosfamide are promising initiatives of application, primarily related to wildlife and the marine environment (Stetz et al., 2011, European Commission, 2011 and CONGRESS, 2013). Genetic diversity
can be assessed by different techniques. Morphological and adaptive traits can be studied in field trials, and biochemical, molecular and DNA variants in the laboratory. Such studies contribute direct measures of intra-specific variation. In combination with knowledge of eco-geographic variation and history, genetic studies can be used to establish possible evolutionary patterns as well as recommendation domains for deployment of reproductive material in production systems. Molecular markers are either influenced by selection or not (in which case they are termed neutral), whereas quantitative variation measured in field trials is usually adaptive. Both types of technique are important to gain knowledge of genetic patterns and processes.