What is the smallest viable population?

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Helio Centric

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What is the smallest viable population?
« on: 08/09/2011 11:30:04 »
Helio Centric asked the Naked Scientists:

I was recently reading about more 'undiscovered' tribes being found in the Amazon. This set me thinking about the minimum population size such an isolated community would need to be in order to maintain a healthy genetic diversity over such a long time period as we are all familiar with the issues of inbreeding that can create undesirable genetic outcomes. how do these isolated communities do it?


Helio Centric
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 08/09/2011 11:30:04 by _system »


Offline RD

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What is the smallest viable population?
« Reply #1 on: 08/09/2011 14:32:27 »
When inbreeding effects are included, estimates of MVP for many species are in the 1,000s. Based on a meta-analysis of reported values in the literature for many species, Traill et al. reported a median MVP of 4,169 individuals.

The "undiscovered" tribes don't remain healthy after being contacted ...

A major problem with contacting isolated people is that they will lack any immunity to common diseases, which can be devastating to a closely-contained population with no natural immunity

I suspect the tribes are not truly isolated : they will occasionally gain members (new blood) from other such tribes,
 ( not necessarily voluntary ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bride_kidnapping )
« Last Edit: 08/09/2011 15:12:50 by RD »