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Genetic Diversity

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Dana Bouwman

on 6 November 2012

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Transcript of Genetic Diversity

How does genetic diversity of populations effect the dynamics of the population? photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli The Founder effect happens when a small portion of a large population is used to establish a new portion or a new population. The new population can be very different form the original in every aspect. Sometimes, the founder effect can result in the development of a new species all together.
Demographic bottlenecks are usually associated with catastrophic events or diseases where the population suffers a large reduction in size, and only a few members of a species survive. Due to the sudden large decrease in the size of the population, there are random losses of genetic diversity within the species. A Genetic drift is a variation in the relative frequency of different genotypes in a small population, owing to the chance disappearance of particular genes as individuals die or do not reproduce. the effects of genetic drift are most pronounced in small populations and can lead to the elimination of a particular gene by chance alone. Breeding of closely related people or animals over many generations is known as inbreeding. This results in many deformities, physically and mentally, in the offspring. Inbreeding generally leads to a decreased fitness of a population, which is called inbreeding depression. The Minimum viable population size refers to the estimated number of individuals which are needed for long-term survival of a rare/endangered species and is the smallest possible size at which a biological population can exist without facing extinction from natural disasters or demographic, environmental, or genetic mutations. Density dependent population controls is when a population is affected by its size. For example, in population growth, when a population gets larger it may grow slower since there are less resources to use. In simpler terms, it is when the outcome of a population is based on size, or change in size.
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