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What effect does a small isolated population have on genetic diversity?

and how?

Also, how does this contribute to extinction?

4 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Small populations have limited genetic diversity, since the gene pool (the amount of potential mates) is small. Genetic diversity plays an important role in the survival and adaptability of a species. When a populations habitat changes, the population may have to adapt to survive; "the ability of populations to cope with this [environmental] challenge depends on their capacity to adapt to their changing environment". Variation in the populations gene pool provides variable traits among the individuals of that population. These variable traits can be selected for, via natural selection; ultimately leading to an adaptive change in the population, allowing it to survive in the changed environment. If a population of a species has a very diverse gene pool then there will be more variability in the traits of individuals of that population and consequently more traits for natural selection to act upon to select the fittest individuals to survive.

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  • 7 years ago

    The fact that this populagion of biological organisms is both small and isolated means that its genetic diversity will be lowered. This is because the isolation will make it more likely for the individuals from this population to mate with each other (also known as inbreeding). If the indviduals from this population were not isolated, they would be able to mate randomly with other organisms from different populations and this means that more genetic variants could be speaded into the population (more mutations, more alleles etc). When a population is isolated and therefore inbreeding, then the opposite phenomenon occurs, namely there are less and less genetic variants spreded into the population.

    How all of this contributes to extinction is straightforward: if siblings mate with each other there is a higher chance for recessive alleles to show up. These alleles are deleterious, namely they cause the onset of diseases in the organism.

    All together this means that a small and isolated population is more likely to become extinct compared to a normal one which is outbreeding and therefore more genetically variable.

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  • 7 years ago

    I think it will not contribute to extinction. only to more there will be more and more varied than the ones out as there's no chance of interbreeding between the in and out

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    do they have downs in their gene profile.

    If they mate with everyone, eventually society will be ruled by a bunch of retards...

    Oh wait.

    Source(s): alcoholics anonymous
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