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Severe inbreeding depression in a wild wolf (Canis lupus) population

Author:
  • O Liberg
  • H Andren
  • HC Pedersen
  • H Sand
  • Douglas Sejberg
  • P Wabakken
  • Mikael Åkesson
  • Staffan Bensch
Publishing year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 17-20
Publication/Series: Biology letters
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Royal Society

Abstract english

The difficulty of obtaining pedigrees for wild populations has hampered the possibility of demonstrating inbreeding depression in nature. In a small, naturally restored, wild population of grey wolves in Scandinavia, founded in 1983, we constructed a pedigree for 24 of the 28 breeding pairs established in the period 1983-2002. Ancestry for the breeding animals was determined through a combination of field data (snow tracking and radio telemetry) and DNA microsatellite analysis. The population was founded by only three individuals. The inbreeding coefficient F varied between 0.00 and 0.41 for wolves born during the study period. The number of surviving pups per litter during their first winter after birth was strongly correlated with inbreeding coefficients of pups (R-2 = 0. 39, p < 0.00 1). This inbreeding depression was recalculated to match standard estimates of lethal equivalents (213), corresponding to 6.04 (2.58-9.48, 95% CI) litter-size-reducing equivalents in this wolf population.

Keywords

  • Biological Sciences

Other

Published
  • Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab
  • ISSN: 1744-9561
Staffan Bensch
E-mail: staffan [dot] bensch [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor

MEMEG

+46 46 222 42 92

E-C213

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Head of unit

MEMEG

+46 46 222 42 92

E-C213

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

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