No evidence of inbreeding depression in fast declining herds of migratory caribou.

08:00 EDT 12th September 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "No evidence of inbreeding depression in fast declining herds of migratory caribou."

Identifying inbreeding depression early in small and declining populations is essential for management and conservation decisions. Correlations between heterozygosity and fitness (HFCs) provide a way to identify inbreeding depression without prior knowledge of kinship among individuals. In Northern Quebec and Labrador, the size of two herds of migratory caribou (Rivière-George; RG, and Rivière-aux-Feuilles; RAF) has declined by one to two orders of magnitude in the last three decades. This raises the question of a possible increase of inbreeding depression originating from, and possibly contributing to, the demographic decline in those populations. Here, we tested for the association of genomic inbreeding indices (estimated with 22 073 SNPs) with body mass and survival in 400 caribou sampled in RG and RAF herds between 1996 and 2016. We found no association of individual heterozygosity or inbreeding coefficient with body mass or annual survival. Furthermore, those genomic inbreeding indices remained stable over the period monitored. These results suggest that the rapid and intense demographic decline of the herds did not cause inbreeding depression in those populations. Although we found no evidence for HFCs, if demographic decline continues however, it is possible that such inbreeding depression would be triggered.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of evolutionary biology
ISSN: 1420-9101


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Decompression external to the body, most often the slow lessening of external pressure on the whole body (especially in caisson workers, deep sea divers, and persons who ascend to great heights) to prevent DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS. It includes also sudden accidental decompression, but not surgical (local) decompression or decompression applied through body openings.

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A genus of deer, Rangifer, that inhabits the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and America. Caribou is the North American name; reindeer, the European. They are often domesticated and used, especially in Lapland, for drawing sleds and as a source of food. Rangifer is the only genus of the deer family in which both sexes are antlered. Most caribou inhabit arctic tundra and surrounding arboreal coniferous forests and most have seasonal shifts in migration. They are hunted extensively for their meat, skin, antlers, and other parts. (From Webster, 3d ed; Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1397)

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