Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicator #09 Arctic Genetic Diversity

Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicator #09 Arctic Genetic Diversity

The concept of biodiversity encompasses aspects of biology ranging from large-scale ecosystems down to the molecular level, where genetic variability is used to characterize diversity within and among populations of species. The genetic component of biodiversity is often not distributed evenly across the geographic range of species, but instead is spatially structured. The primary cause for such structure in the Arctic may be due to evolutionary history and processes related to geography, variable climate, and strong ties to seasonally available resources. Exceptions to this generalized pattern of geographic structure may include migratory species such as some birds, but intensive research into this key aspect of biodiversity needs to be completed across a wide range of marine and terrestrial Arctic organisms.

 


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