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1 July 2005 LARGE VARIANCE IN REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS AND THE Ne/N RATIO
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Abstract

The ratio of the effective population size to adult (or census) population size (Ne/N) is an indicator of the extent of genetic variation expected in a population. It has been suggested that this ratio may be quite low for highly fecund species in which there is a sweepstakes-like chance of reproductive success, known as the Hedgecock effect. Here I show theoretically how the ratio may be quite small when there are only a few successful breeders (Nb) and that in this case, the Ne/N ratio is approximately Nb/N. In other words, high variance in reproductive success within a generation can result in a very low effective population size in an organism with large numbers of adults and consequently a very low Ne/N ratio. This finding appears robust when there is a large proportion of families with exactly two progeny or when there is random variation in progeny numbers among these families.

Philip Hedrick "LARGE VARIANCE IN REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS AND THE Ne/N RATIO," Evolution 59(7), 1596-1599, (1 July 2005). https://doi.org/10.1554/05-009
Received: 6 January 2005; Accepted: 16 April 2005; Published: 1 July 2005
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