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Effective/census population size ratio estimation: a compendium and appraisal


Effective/census population size ratio estimation: a compendium and appraisal

Palstra, Friso P. and Fraser, Dylan J. (2012) Effective/census population size ratio estimation: a compendium and appraisal. Ecology and Evolution . n/a-n/a. ISSN 20457758

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effective_census_population_2012.pdf - Published Version

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.329


With an ecological-evolutionary perspective increasingly applied toward the conservation and management of endangered or exploited species, the genetic estimation of effective population size (N e) has proliferated. Based on a comprehensive analysis of empirical literature from the past two decades, we asked: (i) how often do studies link N e to the adult census population size (N)? (ii) To what extent is N e correctly linked to N? (iii) How readily is uncertainty accounted for in both N e and N when quantifying N e/N ratios? and (iv) how frequently and to what degree might errors in the estimation of N e or N affect inferences of N e/N ratios? We found that only 20% of available N e estimates (508 of 2617; 233 studies) explicitly attempted to link N e and N; of these, only 31% (160 of 508) correctly linked N e and N. Moreover, only 7% (41 of 508) of N e/N ratios (correctly linked or not) reported confidence intervals for both N e and N; for those cases where confidence intervals were reported for N e only, 31% of N e/N ratios overlapped with 1, of which more than half also reached below N e/N = 0.01. Uncertainty in N e /N ratios thus sometimes spanned at least two orders of magnitude. We conclude that the estimation of N e/N ratios in natural populations could be significantly improved, discuss several options for doing so, and briefly outline some future research directions.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Palstra, Friso P. and Fraser, Dylan J.
Journal or Publication:Ecology and Evolution
  • Concordia Open Access Author Fund
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1002/ece3.329
ID Code:974639
Deposited On:04 Sep 2012 20:23
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:38
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