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Lecture 15

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Lecture 15 Conservation GeneticsAccording to EO Wilson the loss of biodiversity is unpredictable and irreversibleThere is a hierarchical organization of diversity interspecific which is between species and then there is genetic diversityGenetic Diversity has Three Elements within individuals between individuals and within populationsThere is variation in the mitochondrial genome and soonWe can take our knowledge of evolutionary principles to slow the rate of species extinctionsSolutions typically address loss of genetic variation with the various speciesVariations in alleles based on speed and patterns of variation among populationsDeclining populations enhance genetic drift so there is a loss of variationInbreeding secondarily becomes more common as more and more individuals in a population are related to each otherIn populations that is declining individuals with recessive alleles are more exposed to others and hence recessive traits becomes more dominantDemographic effects of declining populationsIncreases possibility of Allee effects where the reproductive rate of a species such as in colonial breedersOnce density of pigeons became too small the overall reproductive rate declined since there was no longer a critical mass of birds that allowed for viable reproductionA second effect is demographic stochasticityVariations in demographic rates of a population caused be differences in survivorship and reproductionThis is based on pure random chance rather than phenotypic effects on survivorshipAn example would be a small group which gathered and there was a random chance that an earthquake or soon would wipe out the population
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