Biodiversity is the variety of life and its processes. Diversity cannot be described unless the differences between organisms can be detected and measured. The concept of genetic diversity is usually confined to individual organisms, populations, and species and may be considered as heritable differences among taxa capable of gene exchange. New macromolecular methods together with traditional morphological, cytogenetic, hybridization, and breeding-system analytical methods are providing greater detail that allows a finer resolution of genetic diversity. Rangeland plant biodiversity studies of shrub, forb, grass, and tree taxa are demonstrating genetic diversity data available from rangelands and, in general, rangeland plant genetic diversity studies are in the beginning stages. The influences of past climatic changes on plant genetic diversity studies are in the beginning stages. The influences of past climatic changes on plant genetic diversity are also only just beginning to be understood. Both conservation and use of rangeland plant resources have genetic bases. Genetic diversity studies are important for discovering and documenting the sources and patterns of variation. That information is vital if genetic diversity is to be protected and preserved so that rangeland plant resources can be effectively used and sustained to maintain future options.
McArthur, E. Durrant and Tausch, Robin J.
"Genetic aspects of the biodiversity of rangeland plants,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues: Vol. 4
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol4/iss1/3