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    Author(s): Andres Perez-Figueroa; Rick L. Wallen; Tiago Antao; Jason A. Coombs; Michael K. Schwartz; P. J. White; Gordon Luikart
    Date: 2012
    Source: Biological Conservation. 150: 159-166.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (526.82 KB)


    Loss of genetic variation through genetic drift can reduce population viability. However, relatively little is known about loss of variation caused by the combination of fluctuating population size and variance in reproductive success in age structured populations. We built an individual-based computer simulation model to examine how actual culling and hunting strategies influence the effective population size (Ne) and allelic diversity in Yellowstone bison over 200 years ( 28 generations). The Ne for simulated populations ranged from 746 in stable populations of size 2000 up to 1165 in fluctuating populations whose census size fluctuates between 3000 and 3500 individuals. Simulations suggested that 93% of allelic diversity, for loci with five alleles will be maintained over 200 years if the population census size remains well above 2000 bison (and if variance in male reproductive success is high). However for loci with 20 alleles, only 83% of allelic diversity will be maintained over 200 years.

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    Perez-Figueroa, Andres; Wallen, Rick L.; Antao, Tiago; Coombs, Jason A.; Schwartz, Michael K.; White, P. J.; Luikart, Gordon. 2012. Conserving genomic variability in large mammals: Effect of population fluctuations and variance in male reproductive success on variability in Yellowstone bison. Biological Conservation. 150: 159-166.


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    allelic diversity, effective population size, simulation modelling, age structure, population growth rate, population viability, genomic diversity, conservation genetics, Yellowstone bison

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