By Donald A. Falk, Kent E. Holsinger

Approximately seven hundred species of vegetation may perhaps develop into extinct by way of the yr 2000. confronted with this overwhelming prospect, plant conservationists needs to benefit from each method to be had. This precise paintings summarizes our present wisdom of the genetics and inhabitants biology of infrequent crops, and integrates it with functional conservation strategies. It gains discussions at the distribution and value of genetic edition, administration and evaluate of infrequent plant germplasm, and conservation techniques for genetic variety. Case reviews concentrating on particular difficulties supply vital insights for brand new demanding situations in infrequent plant conservation.

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Extra resources for Genetics and Conservation of Rare Plants

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Toppings 1989; Dudash 1990; Fenster 1991b) found the largest relative differences in flower or fruit production. 9. Relative fitness of offspring of the herbaceous biennial Sabat/a angu/aris resulting from hand self-pollinations, cross-pollinations within a subpopulation (near cross), and cross-pollinations between subpopulations (far cross) measured under glasshouse, garden, and field conditions. Seed set did not differ among pollination types. All seeds were germinated in the glasshouse and transplanted as seedlings into the appropriate environment.

There is abundant evidence that most plant populations are genetically differentiated from one another (Antonovics 1976). However, population biologists are far from being able to make general predictions on whether such differences will be of adaptive value under new environmental conditions, or how novel genetic combinations are likely to fare in nature. Because of our overall ignorance of the population biology and genetics of rare plants, it seems likely that conservation biology will be a "learn as we go" endeavor.

Thus if inbreeding depression is present, selfing will increase F values measured in juveniles (seeds, seedlings) over those values for adults. Selection against selfed progeny then returns the population to equilibrium. In this case, the inbreeding coefficient of the parental generation and its selfing rate are sufficient to estimate inbreeding depression as In the absence of electrophoretic information, comparison of the relative performance of hand-selfed and -outcrossed seed with that of open-pollinated seed has been suggested as a way to estimate the selfing rate of populations (Charlesworth 1988).

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