The genetic effective size of a metapopulation

The genetic effective size of a metapopulation The structure of a population over time, space and categories of social and sexual role governs its ability to retain genetic variation in the face of drift. A metapopulation is an extreme form of spatial structure in which loosely coupled local populations ‘turnover’, that is, suffer extinction followed by recolonization from elsewhere within the metapopulation. These local populations turn over with a characteristic half‐life. Based on a simulation model that incorporates both realistic features of population ecology and population genetics, the ability of such a metapopulation to retain genetic variation, which may be defined as proportional to its so‐called effective population size, denoted Ne(meta), can be one to two orders of magnitude lower than the maximum total number of individuals in the system. Ne(meta) depends on the persistence time associated with longevity of local populations (the turnover half‐life), the average number of local populations extant in the metapopulation and the gene flow between local populations. Habitat fragmentation, which can create a metapopulation from a formerly continuously distributed species, may have unappreciated large genetic consequences for species impacted by human development. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Journal of the Linnean Society Oxford University Press

The genetic effective size of a metapopulation

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 42 (1‐2) – Jan 1, 1991

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 1991 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0024-4066
eISSN
1095-8312
DOI
10.1111/j.1095-8312.1991.tb00558.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The structure of a population over time, space and categories of social and sexual role governs its ability to retain genetic variation in the face of drift. A metapopulation is an extreme form of spatial structure in which loosely coupled local populations ‘turnover’, that is, suffer extinction followed by recolonization from elsewhere within the metapopulation. These local populations turn over with a characteristic half‐life. Based on a simulation model that incorporates both realistic features of population ecology and population genetics, the ability of such a metapopulation to retain genetic variation, which may be defined as proportional to its so‐called effective population size, denoted Ne(meta), can be one to two orders of magnitude lower than the maximum total number of individuals in the system. Ne(meta) depends on the persistence time associated with longevity of local populations (the turnover half‐life), the average number of local populations extant in the metapopulation and the gene flow between local populations. Habitat fragmentation, which can create a metapopulation from a formerly continuously distributed species, may have unappreciated large genetic consequences for species impacted by human development.

Journal

Biological Journal of the Linnean SocietyOxford University Press

Published: Jan 1, 1991

References

  • Metapopulation dynamics: brief history and conceptual domain
    HANSKI, HANSKI; GILPIN, GILPIN

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