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When are genetic methods useful for estimating contemporary abundance and detecting population trends?


Tallmon, David A.; Gregovich, Dave; Waples, Robin S.; Baker, C. Scott; Jackson, Jennifer; Taylor, Barbara L.; Archer, Eric; Martien, Karen K.; Allendorf, Fred W.; Schwartz, Michael K. 2010. When are genetic methods useful for estimating contemporary abundance and detecting population trends? Molecular Ecology Resources. 10: 684-692.

The utility of microsatellite markers for inferring population size and trend has not been rigorously examined, even though these markers are commonly used to monitor the demography of natural populations. We assessed the ability of a linkage disequilibrium estimator of effective population size (Ne) and a simple capture-recapture estimator of abundance (N) to quantify the size and trend of stable or declining populations (true N = 100­10,000), using simulated Wright-Fisher populations. Neither method accurately or precisely estimated abundance at sample sizes of S = 30 individuals, regardless of true N. However, if larger samples of S = 60 or 120 individuals were collected, these methods provided useful insights into abundance and trends for populations of N = 100­500.

Keywords: abundance, effective population size, genetic monitoring, population size, population trend


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: When are genetic methods useful for estimating contemporary abundance and detecting population trends?
Electronic Publish Date: December 6, 2010
Last Update:
December 6, 2010

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