Data from: Effective size in density-dependent two-sex populations: the effect of mating systems
Cite this dataset
Myhre, Ane Marlene; Engen, Steinar; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; SAEther, B.-E. (2017). Data from: Effective size in density-dependent two-sex populations: the effect of mating systems [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7m2r4
Density dependence in vital rates is a key feature affecting temporal fluctuations of natural populations. This has important implications for the rate of random genetic drift. Mating systems also greatly affect effective population sizes, but knowledge of how mating system and density regulation interact to affect random genetic drift is poor. Using theoretical models and simulations, we compare Ne in short-lived, density dependent animal populations with different mating systems. We study the impact of a fluctuating, density dependent sex ratio and consider both a stable and a fluctuating environment. We find a negative relationship between annual Ne/N and adult population size N due to density dependence, suggesting that loss of genetic variation is reduced at small densities. The magnitude of this decrease was affected by mating system and life history. A male-biased, density dependent sex ratio reduces the rate of genetic drift compared to an equal, density independent sex ratio, but a stochastic change towards male-bias reduces the Ne/N ratio. Environmental stochasticity amplifies temporal fluctuations in population size, and is thus vital to consider in estimation of effective population sizes over longer time periods. Our results on the reduced loss of genetic variation at small densities, particularly in polygamous populations, indicate that density regulation may facilitate adaptive evolution at small population sizes.