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Data from: Population properties affect inbreeding avoidance in moose


Herfindal, Ivar et al. (2014), Data from: Population properties affect inbreeding avoidance in moose, Dryad, Dataset,


Mechanisms reducing inbreeding are thought to have evolved owing to fitness costs of breeding with close relatives. In small and isolated populations, or populations with skewed age- or sex distributions, mate choice becomes limited, and inbreeding avoidance mechanisms ineffective. We used a unique individual-based dataset on moose from a small island in Norway to assess whether inbreeding avoidance was related to population structure and size, expecting inbreeding avoidance to be greater in years with larger populations and even adult sex ratios. The probability that a potential mating event was realized was negatively related to the inbreeding coefficient of the potential offspring, with a stronger relationship in years with a higher proportion or number of males in the population. Thus, adult sex ratio and population size affect the degree of inbreeding avoidance. Consequently, conservation managers should aim for sex ratios that facilitate inbreeding avoidance, especially in small and isolated populations.

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