Implications of evolutionary and ecological dynamis to the genetic analysis of fragmentation

Leo Joseph, M Cunningham, Stephen Sarre

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


The expectation of reduced genetic diversity in fragmented environments is rooted in classical population genetics theory (Wright 1978). It can be formally expressed with the following genetic and demographic hypotheses: (1) genetic drift, the random fixation of alleles at a given locus, is increased; (2) inbreeding, the average level of relatedness within populations, is also increased; (3) gene flow between populations is reduced; and (4) the probability of local extinction of demes within a metapopulation is increased (Young et al. 1996). These hypotheses predict that erosion of genetic diversity should be manifest in two broad genetic outcomes. First, diversity within populations isolated in habitat fragments is expected to be reduced relative to that in similar sized areas in an unfragmented habitat. Second, divergence among populations isolated in fragments should increase relative to populations separated by the same distance(s) in an unfragmented habitat if initial allele frequencies are different or if there are multiple alleles in high frequencies (see McCauley 1991)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHow Landscapes Change
EditorsGay A. Bradshaw, Pablo A. Marquet
Place of PublicationGermany
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783662052389
ISBN (Print)9783642078279
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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