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- Restoration Ecology
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- National Science Foundation
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Advances in genetics and genomics have raised new questions in trout restoration and management, specifically about species identity and purity, which fish to value, and where these fish belong. This paper examines how this molecular turn in fisheries management is influencing wild and native trout policy in Colorado. Examples from two small Colorado watersheds, Bear Creek and Sand Creek, illustrate how framing trout as genetic bodies can guide managers to care for or kill trout populations in the interest of rectifying decades of genetic disruption caused by human activity. While trout management has typically relied on human intervention, the turn to genetic science is prompting new classifications of lineage and taxa, altering long-standing conservation priorities, and reorienting the manipulation of biological processes such as reproduction and dispersal. As a result, other social and ecological factors may be pushed to the margins of management decisions. These changes warrant greater conversation about the consequences of molecular analyses and the values embedded in trout science and conservation more broadly.
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Global wind patterns shape genetic differentiation, asymmetric gene flow, and genetic diversity in trees
Wind disperses the pollen and seeds of many plants, but little is known about whether and how it shapes large-scale landscape genetic patterns. We address this question by a synthesis and reanalysis of genetic data from more than 1,900 populations of 97 tree and shrub species around the world, using a newly developed framework for modeling long-term landscape connectivity by wind currents. We show that wind shapes three independent aspects of landscape genetics in plants with wind pollination or seed dispersal: populations linked by stronger winds are more genetically similar, populations linked by directionally imbalanced winds exhibit asymmetric gene flow ratios, and downwind populations have higher genetic diversity. For each of these distinct hypotheses, partial correlations between the respective wind and genetic metrics (controlling for distance and climate) are positive for a significant majority of wind-dispersed or wind-pollinated genetic data sets and increase significantly across functional groups expected to be increasingly influenced by wind. Together, these results indicate that the geography of both wind strength and wind direction play important roles in shaping large-scale genetic patterns across the world’s forests. These findings have implications for various aspects of basic plant ecology and evolution, as well as the response of biodiversitymore »
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