Issue: Land condition - Condition of terrestrial genetic diversity
This is an issue under the Land theme of the Data Reporting System.
The health of the land’s biodiversity is crucial to the condition of the land itself. Terrestrial biota are essential to both soil quality and to the land’s contribution to the regulation of microclimate and hydrology as well as, ultimately, global climate. Physical terrestrial conditions such as land cover, hydrology and soil quality and stability are likewise essential to the well-being of terrestrial life.
Genetic diversity of species and communities is essential to the health and resilience of ecosystems and thus to maintaining the health of terrestrial biodiversity and the contribution of biodiversity to the condition of the land.
- LD-41 Research/examples relating to declines in terrestrial genetic diversity and/or role of genetic diversity in ecosystem resilience
Genetic diversity of species is essential to the health and resilience of ecosystems and to maintaining the health of terrestrial biodiversity and the contribution of biodiversity to the land. It is not clear whether there is any way of measuring ‘genetic diversity’, either marine or terrestrial, across an entire continental ecosystem other than in terms of the diversity among and within species.
Population size is crucial to genetic diversity so many of the species listed as threatened due to low population size will be facing a loss of genetic diversity. It may at some stage be possible to extrapolate a surrogate indicator of rate of loss of genetic diversity from the rate of increase in species whose populations are decreasing. However, this rate of increase currently reflects the rate at which knowledge of the populations of species is increasing rather than the rate at which populations of species are declining.
In the meantime, examples and research into loss of biodiversity in particular species, or into the role of genetic diversity in ecosystem resilience, may provide the best insight into this issue.
- Land - Land condition- Condition of terrestrial species and ecological communities
- Land - Land condition- Soil stability and quality
- Land - Land condition- Hydrology
- Land - Land condition- Land cover
- Coasts and Oceans - Condition of the ocean and coastal waters- Condition of marine genetic diversity