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Journal Article

"Mutational Meltdown" - Aussterberisiko durch Anhäufung schädlicher Mutationen


Gabriel,  Wilfried
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Gabriel, W. (1994). "Mutational Meltdown" - Aussterberisiko durch Anhäufung schädlicher Mutationen. Zeitschrift für Ökologie und Naturschutz, 3, 161-165.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-E3A3-A
Studies on the mutational meltdown, which is a synergistic effect between population regulation and genetic drift, demonstrate that the risk of population extinction due to accumulation of deleterious mutations has been greatly underestimated. The extinction risk is maximal for an intermediate value of the selection coefficient (mutational effect). Consequently, if the expression of deleterious mutations is modified by the environment, improved individual fitness can counterintuitively result in an enhanced extinction risk of a population. Therefore, environmental management to improve population and individual fitness may unintentionally increase the extinction risk in the long run.