Landscape genetics of fragmented forests: anticipating climate change by facilitating migration

Smulders, M.J.M.; Cobben, M.M.P.; Arens, P.F.P.; Verboom, J.


Habitat fragmentation is a threat to the survival of species and causes population decline, as isolated populations are more susceptible to demographic and genetic stochasticity. This can be compensated for by sufficient spatial connectivity between habitat patches to allow dispersal of individuals among populations. In that case such a network of populations may effectively form a metapopulation. In this paper we discuss some aspects of metapopulation theory, notably with respect to maintaining genetic diversity in fragmented forest patches. In addition we will discuss recent studies that explore ways for forest management to anticipate and mitigate the expected climate change, in relation to range shifts and colonisation opportunities