Ancient and historical DNA in conservation policy

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Although genetic diversity has been recognized as a key component of biodiversity since the first Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1993, it has rarely been included in conservation policies and regulations. Even less appreciated is the role that ancient and historical DNA (aDNA and hDNA, respectively) could play in unlocking the temporal dimension of genetic diversity, allowing key conservation issues to be resolved, including setting baselines for intraspecies genetic diversity, estimating changes in effective population size (Ne), and identifying the genealogical continuity of populations. Here, we discuss how genetic information from ancient and historical specimens can play a central role in preserving biodiversity and highlight specific conservation policies that could incorporate such data to help countries meet their CBD obligations.

TidsskriftTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)420-429
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work arose from the workshop ‘Cycling-backwards: the G-BIKE workshop on ancient and historical DNA’ organized by C.V. and M.T.P.G. We acknowledge funding COST Action G-BiKE, supported by COST ( European Cooperation in Science and Technology , ). F.B. is supported by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) under grant no. 2020.05839.BD. We thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on a previous draft.

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© 2021 The Authors

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