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Conservation Genetics and Conservation Biology: a Troubled Marriage

abstract1 (full description below): Pp. 55-69 In O. T. Sandlund, K. Hindar and A. H. D. Brown (eds.), Conservation of Biodiversity for Sustainable Development, Scandanavian University Press (distributed by Oxford University Press).
Conservation Genetics and Conservation Biology. PDF/Acrobat file     M.E. Soule and L.S. Mills

ABSTRACT In two prophetic papers, Otto Frankel presented the conceptual and moral agenda for the discipline of conservation genetics. Within the last decade the penetration of genetics into species-level conservation programs has been accomplished, completing the first phase of the field's development. Simultaneously, population genetics, demography, and population ecology have presented new approaches to the estimation of minimum viable populations; these estimates have increased by orders of magnitude, presenting conceptual and political problems to conservationists. In addition, we are seeing a growing hostility to both genetical and species-level programs in favor of so-called ecosystem approaches. We argue that the species - ecosystem dichotomy is a false one, though it will lead to a more integrated synthesis of conservation theory and practice.