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Realistic levels of inbreeding depression strongly affect extinction risk in wild populations

O'Grady, Julian J., Brook, Barry W., Reed, D. H., Ballou, J. D., Tonkyn, D W. and Frankham, Richard (2006). Realistic levels of inbreeding depression strongly affect extinction risk in wild populations. Biological Conservation,133(1):42-51.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Realistic levels of inbreeding depression strongly affect extinction risk in wild populations
Author O'Grady, Julian J.
Brook, Barry W.
Reed, D. H.
Ballou, J. D.
Tonkyn, D W.
Frankham, Richard
Journal Name Biological Conservation
Publication Date 2006
Volume Number 133
Issue Number 1
ISSN 0006-3207   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-33748577683
Start Page 42
End Page 51
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract The role of inbreeding depression in the extinction of wild populations is controversial, largely because there are no quantitative estimates of its impact using realistic levels of inbreeding depression. To address this deficiency, this study (1) provides a comprehensive estimate of the impact of inbreeding depression on wild, mammalian and avian species via a meta-analysis, and (2) determines the impact of this level of inbreeding depression on extinction risk over a broad taxonomic range via stochastic computer projections with and without inbreeding depression for populations with carrying capacities of 100, 500 and 2000 individuals. An average overall effect of 12 diploid lethal equivalents was found across the life-history of the species in the meta-analysis. In the stochastic computer projections, 12 diploid lethal equivalents of inbreeding depression (with purging) decreased median times to extinction by an average of 37%. These decreases were significant and of very similar magnitude, regardless of the carrying capacity modelled. Disregarding the influence of inbreeding depression on extinction risk will lead to serious overestimates of the survival prospects of threatened mammalian and avian taxa. Further, inappropriate recovery plans may be instituted if the causes of extinction risk and their relative contributions are not recognized. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords lethal equivalents
genetic stochasticity
population viability analysis
conservation biology
genetic load
great tit
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