species conservation

How to Cite

Ackerman, J. D. (1998). EVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL IN ORCHIDS: PATTERNS AND STRATEGIES FOR CONSERVATION. Selbyana, 19(1), 8–14. Retrieved from https://ojs.test.flvc.org/selbyana/article/view/120522


Strategies for species conservation should be based on at least two perspectives. First, one should know the demographic health of component populations which includes their growth, decline and interdependence. The second perspective, which I address here, is the maintenance of evolutionary potential, i.e., the ability to respond to change. This potential depends not only on patterns of variation but also on how populations differentiate. One model of evolutionary potential and differentiation in orchids is based on small population dynamics and repeated founder events. Species that show high levels of genetic variation within populations but little among them represent the pool of possibilities for future founding events which generate small populations. When variation is highest among populations, the potential for speciation is very high because populations are already differentiated to some degree, gene flow is minimal, and episodes of genetic drift and natural selection may be common. Conservation strategies can be very different for the two extreme patterns. For high variation within populations and little among them, the focus should be on conserving many individuals and this could be accomplished at one or few populations without substantial loss of genetic resources. When variation is greatest among populations then one must conserve as many viable populations as possible. Patterns of genetic variation can be revealed by molecular methods as well as standard morphometric techniques. Thus, the tools for estimating genetic resources are available to all and interpretation of the results are possible within existing theoretical frameworks.


Open Access and Copyright Notice


Selbyana is committed to real and immediate open access for academic work. All of Selbyana's articles and reviews are free to access immediately upon publication. There are no author charges (APCs) prior to publication, and no charges for readers to download articles and reviews for their own scholarly use.  To facilitate this, Selbyana depends on the financial backing of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the hard work and dedication of its editorial team and advisory board, and the continuing support of its network of peer reviewers and partner institutions.

Authors are free to choose which open license they would like to use for their work. Our default license is the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). While Selbyana’s articles can be copied by anyone for noncommercial purposes if proper credit is given, all materials are published under an open-access license with authors retaining full and permanent ownership of their work. The author grants Selbyana a perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish the work and to include it in other aggregations and indexes to achieve broader impact and visibility.

Authors are responsible for and required to ascertain that they are in possession of image rights for any and all photographs, illustrations, and figures included in their work or to obtain publication or reproduction rights from the rights holders. Contents of the journal will be registered with the Directory of Open Access Journals and similar repositories. Authors are encouraged to store their work elsewhere, for instance in institutional repositories or personal websites, including commercial sites such as academia.edu, to increase circulation (see The Effects of Open Access).