What We’re Reading: Jan 2, 2015

Communicating Conservation Science to Policy Makers
This article (sub) advocates for conservation scientists to re-frame their research findings in a way that address the political realities of policy makers. The author argues that scientists need to go beyond simple “storytelling” approaches previously advocated and place their science in a policy-relevant context. The author goes so far as to say that peer reviewed conservation papers could have reviewers within the policy sphere to review the relevance of conservation research.

Crop Conservation
Wildlife conservationists may not think much about conservation of agricultural species; however, the use of monocultures on either individual farms or multiple farms decreases allelic richness at local and metapopulation scales. This paper advocates the benefits of on-farm conservation of maize, as it allows for evolution of germplasm in response to climate change, pests, and disease versus germplasm-banking which does not allow for adaptation. The paper was criticized for their methods in observing loss of genetic diversity, thus the response piece highlights research and policy directions to evaluate crop genetic diversity through time to help with diversity conservation.

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