Difference Between In-Situ and Ex-Situ Conservation

In-Situ vs Ex-Situ Conservation

Conservation of biodiversity and genetic resources is an important phenomenon. Mainly the conservation of biodiversity and genetic resources has two strategies. If the conservation has been done in the natural populations of plant or animal species, then it is said “In-situ conservation” and if it is done outside of its natural habitat, then it is called “Ex-situ conservation”. However, both methods are essential for the protection of animal and plant species.

What is In-situ Conservation?

In-situ conservation is also known as “on-site conservation”. The main purpose of this strategy is to conserve ecosystems and natural habitats and maintain its populations. In-situ conservation involves the designation, management, and monitoring of target taxa where they have appeared. This technique is more applicable for conserving wild species and for landrace material on farm. This conservation type is more dynamic because it is done in its natural habitats.

In-situ conservation can be sub divided into protected area conservation, on-farm conservation, and home garden conservation. This is the most appropriate method of conserving biodiversity and, therefore, wildlife and livestock conservation is mostly based on in-situ conservation.

What is Ex-situ Conservation?

Off-site conservation” is another name for ex-situ conservation. In this technique, the conservation of biodiversity components is done outside of their natural habitats. Sampling, transfer, and storage of target taxa from their natural habitats involves in this method. This conservation method has more static nature compared to in-situ conservation. The off-site conservation can be done by using seed storage, in vitro storage, DNA storage, pollen storage, and botanical garden storage methods. This method is most suitable for conserving crops and their wild relatives.

What is the difference between In-situ and Ex-situ conservation?

In-situ conservation is done in the natural habitats of the biodiversity components while ex-situ conservation is done outside of their natural habitats.

In-situ conservation is more dynamic, whereas ex-situ conservation is more static.

In-situ conservation involves designation, management, and monitoring of target taxa in their natural habitats, whereas ex-situ conservation involves sampling, transfer, and storage of target taxa from their natural habitats.

• In In-situ conservation, populations remain within the ecosystem involving the process of evolution whereas, in ex-situ conservation, they are not involving the natural evolution process.

In-situ conservation is time consuming but more sustainable while ex-situ conservation methods are aimed to use in conserving genetic components, in immediate occasions.