Managing Hybridizing Populations: Threats or Opportunities for Conservation?

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Conservation Biology and Biodiversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 120

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark
Interests: animal population genomics; conservation genetics; phylogeography
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Guest Editor
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BiGeA), University of Bologna, Via Zamboni, 33-40126 Bologna, Italy
Interests: biodiversity; wildlife ecology and management; conservation biology; conservation genetics; zoology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural hybridization is a driver of evolution while anthropogenic hybridization is considered a risk factor for biodiversity conservation. However, new research findings challenge these assumptions. Conservation biology needs innovative guidelines for the protection of hybridizing endangered species and for upholding the evolutionary dynamics of admixing populations.

In this Symposium, we will provide reports on ongoing research projects and updated conservation strategies for animal populations that are evolving due to natural or anthropogenic hybridization and gene introgression. We will focus on threatened flagship species, and illustrate the relationships between hybridizing and non-hybridizing populations of species that have had remarkable impacts on conservation strategies in Europe (for example, the wolf) and in North America (for example, the caribou). The evolutionary consequences of hybridization and gene introgression on fitness and adaptation are still poorly understood. Consequently, effective conservation strategies for hybrid swarms often remain to be defined and implemented. In particular, managing admixed populations and individuals that hybridize due to anthropogenic causes, mainly by crossbreeding with conspecific ferals, remains controversial. Aims of this Symposium is to promote a positive conservation view, which accounts for biodiversity inclusively: and also inclusive of hybridization, e.g., biodiversity of hybridizing populations. Therefore, the formulation of conservation solutions requires (1) scientific research and in-depth analysis of case studies involving hybridization, (2) debating of any findings by academics and all conservation stakeholders, and (3) the development of monitoring and management procedures applicable in the real world of conservation, a world that is perhaps inclusive towards hybrids.

Prof. Dr. Ettore Randi
Prof. Dr. Marco Musiani
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • natural hybridization
  • anthropogenic hybridization
  • adaptive introgression
  • hybrid fitness
  • coexistence of wildlife and free-ranging domestic animals
  • management of hybridizing populations

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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