The idea of identifying biodiversity indicators is therefore not merely tracking the loss of biodiversity, although this is used as the relevant overall measure, but also to enable priority setting for conservation, development and sustainable
selleck chemical use of biodiversity. Criteria and indicators are used in different fields of human enterprise to define priorities and measure the extent to which these priorities are met (e.g. Prabhu et al., 1999). They have become an instrument of choice for national and international organizations to guide their members (and attract membership) towards common, quantifiable goals. The focal area of sustainable forest management, for example, relies strongly on criteria and indicators to monitor progress (Wijewardana, 2006). A criterion usually reflects an objective (also termed goal or target), often rather complex and challenging to assess; in our case, the degree to which the genetic diversity of the world’s forests and trees is conserved. Practical and informative indicators which can be measured NSC 683864 cost periodically to reveal the direction of change of a variable (the genetic diversity of world forests in our example) are therefore required. Indicators are, by definition, used to track progress and
should always be defined in relation to a given target (Feld et al., 2009). An indicator must be measurable and the metric used to measure an indicator is commonly referred to as a verifier. Although important progress has been made overall, there is “still a considerable gap in the widespread use of indicators for many of the multiple components of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and a need to develop common monitoring schemes within and across habitats” (Feld et al., 2009). In a scientific assessment, Butchart et al. (2010) compiled 31 indicators to report on the progress of the 2010 Biodiversity Target. They concluded that, despite some local successes and increasing
responses (e.g., in terms of protected area coverage), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear Chlormezanone to be slowing (Butchart et al., 2010). Here, we are concerned with genetic diversity, which is not explicitly defined in CBD, and in particular, we focus on trees. Genetic diversity is defined here as the total amount of genetic differences within species. It is also referred to as intra-specific variation. Intra-specific variation can be subdivided into inter- and intra-population variation (also among and within population genetic diversity), and further into the diversity within an individual expressed by differences between alleles across chromosomes. Genetic diversity is a major element of biodiversity (CBD Article 2), it is the basis for adaptation and it has been recognized by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA, 2005) for its support to ecosystem functioning. Nevertheless, it is still rarely considered and only a few global or regional indicators make reference to it (Nivet et al., 2012).