Is local provenance important in habitat creation?


David M Wilkinson, Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK (e-mail


  • 1Many habitat creation schemes specify that biological material of local provenance should be used in reintroductions. This has come to be the ‘text book’ approach. However, very little discussion of the theory underlying this idea has been published in the scientific literature. This paper aims to initiate this much-needed discussion.
  • 2A major reason for the use of local provenance is the claimed importance of conserving locally adapted genotypes, which are assumed to show high fitness. Using both genetic arguments and a consideration of Quaternary environmental change I argue that this reason will seldom be important.
  • 3I make tentative suggestions of when local provenance is likely to be important and when it can be given a low priority in habitat creation schemes.