DNA clues to inform conservation in Africa

May 23, 2007
The African bushbuck
The African bushbuck, a common species which lives in most sub-Saharan habitat types. Credit: Cardiff University

Tracing the evolutionary history of wildlife could improve global habitat conservation, a major Cardiff University study has found.

Researchers in the School of Biosciences analysed the African bushbuck, a common species which lives in most sub-Saharan habitat types to test whether DNA similarity between populations living in different habitats can reveal the similarity of those ecoregions now and in the past.

The study, one of the first of its kind, identified 28 key regions for bushbucks. By understanding the genetic similarity of populations inhabiting different habitats researchers found they can potentially trace which ecoregions are most similar and establish which are the most unique in evolutionary history.

Professor Mike Bruford, School of Biosciences, co-author of the study, said: "The conservation of habitat or ecoregion biodiversity is one of our greatest challenges. This new approach will allow conservationists in Africa to focus their efforts on the most biodiverse and more unique habitats which harbour the most genetically distinct populations."

The researchers suggest the study provides a framework for the incorporation of genetic and biogeographic information into a more widely applicable model for pan-African conservation and, potentially, for the conservation of other global regions.

Source: Cardiff University

Explore further: The origin of the language of life

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fingers pointed as climate talks deadlock

1 hour ago

Accusations flew at deadlocked UN climate talks in Lima on Saturday, as the United States warned that failure to compromise could doom the 22-year-old global forum.

Fun cryptography app pleases students and teachers

11 hours ago

Up on Google Play this week is Cryptoy...something that you might want to check out if you or someone you know wishes entry into the world of cryptography via an educational and fun app. You learn more about ciphers and keys; you ...

Recommended for you

The origin of the language of life

4 minutes ago

The genetic code is the universal language of life. It describes how information is encoded in the genetic material and is the same for all organisms from simple bacteria to animals to humans. However, the ...

Study finds tropical fish moving into temperate waters

1 hour ago

Tropical herbivorous fish are beginning to expand their range into temperate waters – likely as a result of climate change – and a new international study documents the dramatic impact of the intrusion ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.