• A comparison of strategies for selecting breeding pairs to maximize genetic diversity retention in managed populations

      Ivy, Jamie A.; Lacy, Robert C. (2012)
      Captive breeding programs aim to maintain populations that are demographically self-sustaining and genetically healthy. It has been well documented that the best way for managed breeding programs to retain gene diversity (GD) and limit inbreeding is to select breeding pairs that minimize a population's average kinship....
    • Implications of different species concepts for conserving biodiversity

      Frankham, Richard; Ballou, Jonathan D.; Dudash, Michele R.; Eldridge, Mark D.B.; Fenster, Charles B.; Lacy, Robert C.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Porton, Ingrid J.; Ralls, Katherine; Ryder, Oliver A. (2012)
      The ~26 definitions of species often yield different numbers of species and disparate groupings, with financial, legal, biological and conservation implications. Using conservation genetic considerations, we demonstrate that different species concepts have a critical bearing on our ability to conserve species.... Consequently, we conclude that the diagnostic phylogenetic species concept is unsuitable for use in conservation contexts, especially for classifying allopatric populations.
    • Inbreeding and selection shape genomic diversity in captive populations: Implications for the conservation of endangered species

      Willoughby, Janna R.; Ivy, Jamie A.; Lacy, Robert C.; Doyle, Jacqueline M.; DeWoody, J. Andrew (2017)
      Captive breeding programs are often initiated to prevent species extinction until reintroduction into the wild can occur. However, the evolution of captive populations via inbreeding, drift, and selection can impair fitness, compromising reintroduction programs. To better understand the evolutionary response of species bred in captivity, we used nearly 5500 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in populations of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) to measure the impact of breeding regimes on genomic diversity. We bred mice in captivity for 20 generations using two replicates of three protocols: random mating (RAN), selection for docile behaviors (DOC), and minimizing mean kinship (MK). The MK protocol most effectively retained genomic diversity and reduced the effects of selection. Additionally, genomic diversity was significantly related to fitness, as assessed with pedigrees and SNPs supported with genomic sequence data. Because captive-born individuals are often less fit in wild settings compared to wild-born individuals, captive-estimated fitness correlations likely underestimate the effects in wild populations. Therefore, minimizing inbreeding and selection in captive populations is critical to increasing the probability of releasing fit individuals into the wild.
    • Species concepts for conservation – Reply to Russello and Amato

      Frankham, Richard; Lacy, Robert C.; Ballou, Jonathan D.; Dudash, Michele R.; Eldridge, Mark D.B.; Fenster, Charles B.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Porton, Ingrid J.; Ralls, Katherine; Ryder, Oliver A. (2014)
      There are two critical steps required in assessing the taxonomic identity of populations (especially fragmented ones) for conservation purposes. The first is to define the criteria for distinguishing species and the second is to implement the delineation....
    • Using molecular methods to improve the genetic management of captive breeding programs for threatened species

      Ivy, Jamie A.; Lacy, Robert C.; DeWoody, J. Andrew; Bickham, John W.; Michler, Charles H.; Nichols, Krista M.; Rhodes, Gene E.; Woeste, Keith E. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2010)
      ...the genetic goals of captive population management are to minimize genetic drift, retain genetic diversity, restrict inbreeding, and limit adaptation to captivity (Lacy 1994). The foundations of most captive breeding programs are pedigree analyses, which are used to manage both the demography and genetics of captive populations (Ballou & Foose 1996)....