Optimizing targeted gene flow to maximize local genetic diversity: when and how to act under various scenarios of environmental change.
Adam Smart, Ben Phillips
Targeted gene flow is an emerging conservation tool which involves introducing a cohort of individuals with particular traits to locations where they can produce a conservation benefit. This approach is being proposed to adapt recipient populations to a known threat, but questions remain surrounding how best to maximize conservation outcomes during periods of continuous directional environmental change. Here we introduce a new management objective — to keep the recipient population extant and with maximum diversity of local alleles — and we explore how varying the timing and size of an introduction can achieve this. Our results reveal that management levers can often optimize this so that ne..View full abstract