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Effective population size
In population genetics, the effective population size is the is the number of adults in a population contributing offspring to the next generation. The parameter allows one to calculate the effects of selection and genetic drift on a population. It is a composite measure of actual ("census") population size, population structure, and reproductive mode.
Terms that contribute to effective population size are:
- census size
- whether or not selfing occurs
- relative frequency of the two sexes
- fluctuations in population size through time
- variance in fitness from non-genetic (environmental) sources
- whether or not there are overlapping generations
- spatial distribution in the population
Generally, effective population size is smaller than the census size, and sometimes much smaller.
- Hartl, D.L. & A.G. Clark, 1998. Principles of Population Genetics. Sinauer. Ch 2.
- Russell, P.J., 2003. iGenetics. San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.
This page is part of the EvoWiki encyclopedia of genetics and molecular biology.