Yellowstone bison genetics: let us move forward

Journal of Heredity
By: , and 



White and Wallen (2012) disagree with the conclusions and suggestions made in our recent assessment of population structure among Yellowstone National Park (YNP) bison based on 46 autosomal microsatellite loci in 661 animals (Halbert et al. 2012). First, they suggest that "the existing genetic substructure (that we observed) was artificially created." Specifically, they suggest that the substructure observed between the northern and central populations is the result of human activities, both historical and recent. In fact, the genetic composition of all known existing bison herds was created by, or has been influenced by, anthropogenic activities, although this obviously does not reduce the value of these herds for genetic conservation (Dratch and Gogan 2010). As perspective, many, if not most, species of conservation concern have been influenced by human actions and as a result currently exist as isolated populations. However, it is quite difficult to distinguish between genetic differences caused by human actions and important ancestral variation contained in separate populations without data from early time periods. Therefore, to not lose genetic variation that may be significant or indicative of important genetic variation, the generally acceptable management approach is to attempt to retain this variation based on the observed population genetic subdivision (Hedrick et al. 1986).
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Yellowstone bison genetics: let us move forward
Series title Journal of Heredity
DOI 10.1093/jhered/ess051
Volume 103
Issue 5
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Oxford Journals
Publisher location Oxford, U.K.
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 2 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Heredity
First page 754
Last page 755
Country United States
Other Geospatial Yellowstone National Park
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details