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Inbreeding Depression in a Captive Wolf (Canis lupus) Population

Inbreeding Depression in a Captive Wolf (Canis lupus) Population Abstract. Uncertainty currently exists regarding the extent to which mammalian carnivores suffer from inbreeding depression. In particular, it has been proposed that wolves and species with a similar social structure are adapted to close inbreeding. Empirical data, however, are scarce. This paper provides strong evidence against the contention that natural populations of wolves are resistant to inbreeding depression. We analyzed studbook data of a captive wolf population bred in Scandinavian zoos and found negative effects of inbreeding expressed as reductions in juvenile weight, reproduction, and longevity. The occurrence of an apparently bereditary form of blindness is also associated with inbreeding. Different effects of inbreeding can be attributed to genes originating from different founder pairs, thus indicating that alleles that are deleterious in the homozygous state are fairly common in natural wolf populations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Inbreeding Depression in a Captive Wolf (Canis lupus) Population

Conservation Biology , Volume 5 (1) – Mar 1, 1991

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
"Copyright © 1991 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company"
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
DOI
10.1111/j.1523-1739.1991.tb00385.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract. Uncertainty currently exists regarding the extent to which mammalian carnivores suffer from inbreeding depression. In particular, it has been proposed that wolves and species with a similar social structure are adapted to close inbreeding. Empirical data, however, are scarce. This paper provides strong evidence against the contention that natural populations of wolves are resistant to inbreeding depression. We analyzed studbook data of a captive wolf population bred in Scandinavian zoos and found negative effects of inbreeding expressed as reductions in juvenile weight, reproduction, and longevity. The occurrence of an apparently bereditary form of blindness is also associated with inbreeding. Different effects of inbreeding can be attributed to genes originating from different founder pairs, thus indicating that alleles that are deleterious in the homozygous state are fairly common in natural wolf populations.

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Mar 1, 1991

References