Publication: monitoring of genetic diversity takes shape

The latest issue of HOTSPOT magazine focuses on biodiversity monitoring and presents ongoing and new projects, programs and technologies. Our pilot study is represented with an article about our work and about the challenges of monitoring genetic diversity.

HOTSPOT magazine is published in German and French and can be freely downloaded from scnat. Short link to the German issue:

Publication: Selecting species and populations for monitoring of genetic diversity

A new IUCN manual guides through the decision-making and evaluation processes involved in designing a genetic diversity monitoring programme and identifying the most appropriate species or populations. The guidance document is aimed at conservation practitioners and includes several case studies, including our pilot study for genetic monitoring in Switzerland. Link to the publication:

Successful sampling strategy

With the supplementary sampling of Melitaea diamina, the 2022 field season was successfully completed. The collected samples of the five species are distributed – according to their habitats – over the whole of Switzerland and all biogeographical regions. The sampling includes more than 1200 individuals from 158 populations.

Populations sampled and biogeographic regions of Switzerland

The specifically developed sampling strategy (proportional stratified random sampling) has proven successful: the climatic niche, i.e. the range of temperature and precipitation suitable or expected for a species, is well covered for all species.

Distribution of the known (grey) vs. sampled (red) populations of all five species in the Swiss climate niche.
(c) Oliver Reutimann, ETH Zürich

In addition, areas of varying size, quality, and connectivity were selected using the random sampling strategy.

Example of Eriophorum vaginatum: both large, protected upland bogs and small or isolated patches were considered in the study.
(c) images: Martin C. Fischer, ETH Zurich

Publication: Bringing together approaches to reporting on within species genetic diversity

In the new article in the Journal of Applied Ecology, our pilot study for a monitoring of genetic diversity has been compared with and related to other approaches to reporting on within species genetic diversity. The publication shows the international importance of a monitoring of genetic diversity. The publication is available via this link in the Journal of Applied Ecology.