31 May 2023

CIIMAR researcher studies gaps in genetic diversity in marine protected areas

The study "Global patterns and drivers of genetic diversity among marine habitat-forming species" led by CIIMAR researcher Jean-Baptiste Ledoux, portrays the global pattern of genetic diversity of marine habitat-forming species. This analysis surprises by revealing that there are no differences in genetic biodiversity of these species between protected and non-protected areas.


The results are disconcerting: there is virtually no difference between the levels of genetic diversity in marine habitat-forming species between protected and non-protected areas.


Consequently, the study concludes that protected areas do not support greater genetic diversity, as one might expect. Genetic diversity is a fundamental but still neglected level of biodiversity. The study demonstrates the total disconnect between the pattern of genetic diversity of habitat-forming marine species and the network of protected areas. In the researchers' opinion there are still major gaps in the regulations associated with marine protected areas. Despite their definition and legislation being designed a long time ago, conservation actions seem to be unable to promote greater genetic diversity. 


Check the press release on this study HERE.