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Making the connection: expanding the role of restoration genetics in restoring and evaluating connectivity


Proft, KM and Jones, ME and Johnson, CN and Burridge, CP, Making the connection: expanding the role of restoration genetics in restoring and evaluating connectivity, Restoration Ecology, 26, (3) pp. 411-418. ISSN 1061-2971 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Society for Ecological Restoration

DOI: doi:10.1111/rec.12692


The success of restoration activities is affected by connectivity with the surrounding landscape. From a genetic perspective, landscape connectivity can influence gene flow, effective size, and genetic diversity of populations, which in turn have impacts on the fitness and adaptive potential of species in restored areas. Researchers and practitioners are increasingly using genetic data to incorporate elements of connectivity into restoration planning and evaluation. We show that genetic studies of connectivity can improve restoration planning in three main ways. First, by comparing genetic estimates of contemporary and historical gene flow and population size, practitioners can establish historical baselines that may provide targets for restoration of connectivity. Second, empirical estimates of dispersal, landscape resistance to movement, and adaptive genetic variance can be derived from genetic data and used to parameterize existing restoration planning tools. Finally, restoration actions can also be targeted to remove barriers to gene flow or mitigate pinch-points in corridors. We also discuss appropriate methods for evaluating the restoration of gene flow over timescales required by practitioners. Collaboration between restoration geneticists, ecologists, and practitioners is needed to develop practical and innovative ways to further incorporate connectivity into restoration practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:restoration ecology, adaptive variation, connectivity, conservation genetics, landscape genetics, monitoring, restoration genetics
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Proft, KM (Ms Kirstin Proft)
UTAS Author:Jones, ME (Professor Menna Jones)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
UTAS Author:Burridge, CP (Associate Professor Christopher Burridge)
ID Code:126200
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP130100949)
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2018-05-29
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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