The genetic Allee effect: a unified framework for the genetics and demography of small populations
The Allee effect is a theoretical model predicting low growth rates and the possible extinction of small populations. Historically, studies of the Allee effect have focused on demography. As a result, underlying processes other than the direct effect of population density on fitness components are not generally taken into account. There has been heated debate about the potential of genetic processes to drive small populations to extinction, but recent studies have shown that such processes clearly impact small populations over short time scales, and some may generate Allee effects. However, as opposed to the ecological Allee effect, which is underpinned by cooperative interactions between individuals, genetically driven Allee effects require a change in genetic structure to link the decline in population size with a decrease in fitness components. We therefore define the genetic Allee effect as a two-step process whereby a decrease in population size leads to a change in population genetic structure, and in turn, to a decrease in individual fitness. We describe potential underlying mechanisms, and review the evidence for this original type of component Allee effect, using published examples from both plants and animals. The possibility of considering demogenetic feedback in light of genetic Allee effects clarifies the analysis and interpretation of demographic and genetic processes, and the interplay between them, in small populations.
- Downloaded 816 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 32,960
- In ecology: 697
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 125,114
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 100,770
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!