Browsing by Subject "genetic drift"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-2 of 2
  • Fabritius, Henna (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Genetic variation is vital for both contemporary and long-term wellbeing of populations. Whereas heterozygosity (Ho) and allelic richness (A) are commonly used to measure the level of genetic diversity in a population, effective population size (Ne) describes the speed of loss of genetic variation. Various effective population sizes are proposed as standards for safe retention of genetic variation in a Minimum Viable Population (MVP). Since the 1940s, several types of effective population size estimators have been developed. Earlier estimators relied on demographic parameters, whereas genetic estimators are based on the analysis of either one or two genetic samples from a population. All Ne estimators have their unique sensitivities and limiting assumptions, which complicate the choice of estimator, comparison of results of different studies and the assessment of the reliability of the results. Ne estimators have recently been used e.g. in the monitoring of many aquatic populations, but their reliability and comparability has not often been tested with extensive ecological and genetic data, and it is not well established how much added value they bring to the conservation of easily observable species. I tested this with an extensive dataset on the Siberian jays (Perisoreus infaustus) living in Suupohja, Finland (62°22'N, 21°30'E). The Suupohja Siberian jays form one of the few isolates of Siberian jays in Southern Finland. I utilised three demographic and three genetic Ne estimators to estimate the Ne and the Ne/N ratio in the Suupohja Siberian jays, and compared the findings to the Ho and A estimates calculated with the same data, and to various suggested MVP standards. The results showed that the ratio of effective and census population sizes (Ne/N) is close to 0.6 in the Suupohja Siberian jays. Uneven survival of offspring and population size fluctuations are the main factors in the formation of this ratio. The average genetic Ne estimate would, then, suggest a census population size of 44 % higher than the average N in the Suupohja study area. This result is probably connected to the high proportion of breeding immigrants in the data, which would cause the Ne estimates to reflect a larger genetic neighbourhood than the study area. The genetic Ne estimates also suggest that the Suupohja Siberian jays might not be able to maintain their genetic diversity in the long term if gene flow would cease due to further isolation, especially if isolation would also cause a faster demographic decline. Conservation attempts should aim at ensuring gene flow to the remaining Siberian jay isolates in Southern Finland, in order to protect them from increasing genetic uniformity and inbreeding. It is possible that while the average dispersal distances in the Siberian jay are short, occasional long-distance dispersal events have an important role in the pretention of genetic structuring in a Siberian jay population. Ne estimation based on demographic data was laborious in the case of the Suupohja Siberian jays, whereas the genetic Ne estimates showed large variation depending on year and estimation method used. Reliable estimation of Ne with genetic methods would have required information on the large-scale genetic structure of the population. In any case, Ne estimates gave a clearer picture on the genetic viability of the Suupohja Siberian jays than the Ho and A estimates, which did not indicate any decrease of genetic diversity during the study period.
  • Nonaka, Etsuko; Kaitala, Veijo (2020)
    Many parasitoids have single-locus complementary sex determination (sl-CSD), which produces sterile or inviable males when homozygous at the sex determining locus. A previous study theoretically showed that small populations have elevated risks of extinction due to the positive feedback between inbreeding and small population size, referred to as the diploid male vortex. A few modeling studies have suggested that the diploid male vortex may not be as common because balancing selection at sex determining loci tends to maintain high allelic diversity in spatially structured populations. However, the generality of the conclusion is yet uncertain, as they were drawn either from models developed for particular systems or from a general-purpose competition model. To attest the conclusion, we study several well-studied host-parasitoid models that incorporate functional response specifying the number of attacked hosts given a host density and derive the conditions for a diploid male vortex in a single population. Then, we develop spatially structured individual-based versions of the models to include female behavior, diploid male fertility, and temporal fluctuations. The results show that producing a handful of successful offspring per female parasitoid could enable parasitoid persistence when a typical number of CSD alleles are present. The effect of functional response depends on the levels of fluctuations in host abundance, and inviable or partially fertile diploid males and a small increase in dispersal can alleviate the risk of a diploid male vortex. Our work supports the generality of effective genetic rescue in spatially connected parasitoid populations with sl-CSD. However, under more variable climate, the efficacy of the CSD mechanism may substantially decline.