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Bet-hedging applications for conservation

Journal of Biosciences

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Abstract

One of the early tenets of conservation biology is that population viability is enhanced by maintaining multiple populations of a species. The strength of this tenet is justified by principles of bet-hedging. Management strategies that reduce variance in population size will also reduce risk of extinction. Asynchrony in population fluctuations in independent populations reduces variance in the aggregate of populations whereas environmental correlation among areas increases the risk that all populations will go extinct. We review the theoretical rationale of bet-hedging and suggest applications for conservation management of least terns in Nebraska and grizzly bears in the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. The risk of extinction for least terns will be reduced if we can sustain the small central Platte River population in addition to the larger population on the lower Platte. Similarly, by restoring grizzly bears to the Bitterroot wilderness of Idaho and Montana can reduce the probability of extinction for grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountains of the United States by as much as 69-93%.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Bet-hedging applications for conservation
Series title:
Journal of Biosciences
Volume
27
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Publisher:
Univ of Alberta, Dept Biol Sciences
Publisher location:
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Contributing office(s):
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description:
pp. 385-392
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Biosciences
First page:
385
Last page:
392
Number of Pages:
8