[Taxacom] inbreeding, health, and evolution

Chris Reid creid4 at tigers.lsu.edu
Thu Feb 13 11:00:49 CST 2014

Alan and others, 

I've always been fascinated about the founder effect idea, that a viable population can originate from a few individuals.

Maybe introduced species would be a good model for studying founder effect genetics.  When one (self fertile plant) or a few individuals escape into a new environment what happens? Success, suggested by the number of troublesome exotics! And natural selection operates in the new range resulting in local adaptation. An example that I have heard of is evolution of salinity tolerance in Rio Grande cichlids introduced to an estuary.

Oceanic islands make founder events more appealing if you think about the chance of dispersal across thousands of miles if ocean (or unsuitable habitat in the case of non-oceanic "islands" ). The probability of multiple dispersals would decrease. But then again maybe dispersal and persistence was more common than I think.  Interesting stuff !

Chris Reid
Louisiana State Univetsity Herbarium (LSU)

More information about the Taxacom mailing list