Genetic rescue to the rescue

Andrew R. Whiteley, Sarah W. Fitzpatrick, W. Chris Funk, David A. Tallmon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

519 Scopus citations


Genetic rescue can increase the fitness of small, imperiled populations via immigration. A suite of studies from the past decade highlights the value of genetic rescue in increasing population fitness. Nonetheless, genetic rescue has not been widely applied to conserve many of the threatened populations that it could benefit. In this review, we highlight recent studies of genetic rescue and place it in the larger context of theoretical and empirical developments in evolutionary and conservation biology. We also propose directions to help shape future research on genetic rescue. Genetic rescue is a tool that can stem biodiversity loss more than has been appreciated, provides population resilience, and will become increasingly useful if integrated with molecular advances in population genomics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Adaptive evolution
  • Endangered species
  • Evolutionary rescue
  • Genetic rescue
  • Heterosis
  • Inbreeding depression
  • Outbreeding depression


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