Population biology and conservation of rare plants

  • Richard V. Kesseli
Part of the Monographiae Biologicae book series (MOBI, volume 67)


Conservation of rare and endangered plant taxa and their habitats requires an understanding of the population dynamic factors affecting recruitment, reproduction, dispersal and genetic capacity to evolve. Population size, dispersion and certain genetic structure variables determining effective population size are reviewed in order to emphasize the maintenance of genetic variation in small, subdivided populations. Research on an annual plant genus, Limnanthes living in vernal pools as islands and containing several rare taxa, provided excellent examples of many of these genetic and demographic properties. Genetic variation patterns based on allozyme surveys appeared to fit an island model such that rarity based on narrow geographical range and highly localized gene flow clearly affected the patterns. Several other rare plant examples are also reviewed briefly in order to point out the critical population biological research needed for designing nature reserves and their monitoring or management strategies. Current research in conservation biology should advance the in situ approaches, and some basic field studies as outlined here; in most cases, even preliminary information on life history, genetic structure, gene flow, breeding system and population size variation would prove highly valuable.


Gene Flow Effective Population Size Rare Allele Conservation Biology Population Biology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard V. Kesseli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Vegetable CropsUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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