Data from: Estimated six percent loss of genetic variation in wild populations since the industrial revolution
Leigh, Deborah M.; Hendry, Andrew P.; Vázquez-Domínguez, Ella; Friesen, Vicki L. (2019), Data from: Estimated six percent loss of genetic variation in wild populations since the industrial revolution, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8c4c359
Genetic variation is fundamental to population fitness and adaptation to environmental change. Human activities are driving declines in many wild populations and could have similar effects on genetic variation. Despite the importance of estimating such declines, no global estimate of the magnitude of ongoing genetic variation loss has been conducted across species. By combining studies that quantified recent changes in genetic variation across a mean of 27 generations for 91 species, we conservatively estimate a 5.4-6.5% decline in within-population genetic diversity of wild organisms since the industrial revolution. This loss has been most severe for island species, which show a 30% average decline. We identified taxonomic and geographic gaps in temporal studies that must be urgently addressed. Our results are consistent with single time-point meta-analyses, which indicated that genetic variation is likely declining. However, our results represent the first confirmation of a global decline, and provide an estimate of the magnitude of the genetic variation lost from wild populations.