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A review of genetic evaluation tools for conservation and management of North American sturgeons: roles, benefits, and limitations

Anders, P. J., Drauch‐Schreier, A., Rodzen, J., Powell, M. S., Narum, S., Crossman, J. A.
Journal of applied ichthyology 2011 v.27 Suppl s2 pp. 3-11
analytical methods, complications, conservation programs, genetic techniques and protocols, hybridization, managers, population structure, society, sturgeon, Montana
This paper summarizes one component of a sturgeon conservation genetics workshop held in conjunction with the Third Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society from 31 August through 3 September, 2010, at Chico Springs, Montana, USA. The purpose of this portion of the workshop was to foster interdisciplinary communication, help characterize sturgeon conservation and management issues and challenges, and provide the context and rationale for selecting and employing appropriate genetic investigations for sturgeon programs. Specifically, this paper: (i) provides some guiding principles for sturgeon managers and conservationists considering genetic investigations; (ii) provides a general overview of relevant analytical genetic metrics and techniques, including complications from polyploidy; and (iii) provides several examples of sturgeon conservation and management programs currently using genetic analyses for various purposes. Numerous analytical techniques are currently available to address a range of individual and population genetic issues, including population structure and status, origins and relatedness of individual fish and populations, family identity and contribution to year class, species identity and hybridization, forensic cases, and the design and evaluation of conservation and management actions. Rather than focusing on mechanistic or quantitative aspects of available genetic analyses, this paper provides a general context, overview, and several empirical examples to guide the selection of genetic analyses for sturgeon programs. We also provide information from published studies involving procedural and quantitative aspects of sturgeon genetic analyses for further reference.