Genetic aspects of restoration

Marine restoration has a genetic dimension, if populations are transplanted from other areas into the area that is restored. In principle, if individuals of a species is brought from any other area to a restoration site, there is a risk that the introduced individuals are genetically different from individuals living in the restoration area (or nearby).

Genetic risks of restoration

  • Introduced individuals have the wrong genetic set up and will not survive
  • Introduced individuals have different genes from native individuals still living in the surroundings and will "contaminate" the native population with gene-varieties suboptimal for the area

Avoid negative genetic risks

  • Score the genetic variation of nearby populations and use individuals of as similar genetic variation as possible for restoration
  • If possible, use local parents and breed new offspring in the lab that will be used for restoration
  • If distant populations have to be donners to the restored population, make sure there is no remainings of the original population that risk contamination
  • In some special occassions, restoration should include genetically different individuals, for example, if local (restored) populations are extremely small and very inbred and new genetic variation is needed to prevent inbreeding depression



Kerstin Johannesson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Responsible editor: Kerstin Johannesson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 
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