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Journal Articles Conservation Biology Year : 2010

Genetic Bottlenecks Driven by Population Disconnection


Connectivity among populations plays a crucial role in maintaining genetic variation at a local scale, especially in small populations affected strongly by genetic drift. The negative consequences of population disconnection on allelic richness and gene diversity (heterozygosity) are well recognized and empirically established. It is not well recognized, however, that a sudden drop in local effective population size induced by such disconnection produces a temporary disequilibrium in allelic frequency distributions that is akin to the genetic signature of a demographic bottleneck. To document this effect, we used individual-based simulations and empirical data on allelic richness and gene diversity in six pairs of isolated versus well-connected (core) populations of European tree frogs. In our simulations, population disconnection depressed allelic richness more than heterozygosity and thus resulted in a temporary excess in gene diversity relative to mutation drift equilibrium (i.e., signature of a genetic bottleneck). We observed a similar excess in gene diversity in isolated populations of tree frogs. Our results show that population disconnection can create a genetic bottleneck in the absence of demographic collapse.

Dates and versions

halsde-00538676 , version 1 (23-11-2010)



Thomas Broquet, Sonia Angelone, Julie Jaquiéry, Pierre Joly, Jean-Paul Léna, et al.. Genetic Bottlenecks Driven by Population Disconnection. Conservation Biology, 2010, 24 (6), pp.1596-1605. ⟨10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01556.x⟩. ⟨halsde-00538676⟩
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