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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Environmental change and the option value of genetic diversity
Author(s): Jump, Alistair
Marchant, Rob
Penuelas, Josep
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Keywords: Genetic diversity
Climate change
Environmental change
Issue Date: Jan-2009
Citation: Jump A, Marchant R & Penuelas J (2009) Environmental change and the option value of genetic diversity, Trends in Plant Science, 14 (1), pp. 51-58.
Abstract: Rapid anthropogenic environmental change is altering selection pressures on natural plant populations. However, it is difficult to predict easily the novel selection pressures to which populations will be exposed. There is heavy reliance on plant genetic diversity for future crop security in agriculture and industry, but the implications of genetic diversity for natural populations receives less attention. Here, we examine the links between the genetic diversity of natural populations and aspects of plant performance and fitness. We argue that accumulating evidence demonstrates the future benefit or ‘option value’ of genetic diversity within natural populations when subject to anthropogenic environmental changes. Consequently, the loss of that diversity will hinder their ability to adapt to changing environments and is, therefore, of serious conc
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