Effective population sizes with multiple paternity

D. W. Sugg, R. K. Chesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


While the concept of effective population size is of obvious applicability to many questions in population genetics and conservation biology, its utility has suffered due to a lack of agreement among its various formulations. Often, mathematical formulations for effective sizes apply restrictive assumptions that limit their applicability. Herein, expressions for effective sizes of populations that account for mating tactics, biases in sex ratios, and differential dispersal rates (among other parameters) are developed. Of primary interest is the influence of multiple paternity on the maintenance of genetic variation in a population. In addition to the standard inbreeding and variance effective sizes, intragroup (coancestral) and intergroup effective sizes also are developed. Expressions for effective sizes are developed for the beginning of nonrandom gene exchanges (initial effective sizes), the transition of gene correlations (instantaneous effective sizes), and the steady-state (asymptotic effective size). Results indicate that systems of mating that incorporate more than one male mate per female increase all effective sizes above those expected from polygyny and monogamy. Instantaneous and asymptotic sizes can be expressed relative to the fixation indices. The parameters presented herein can be utilized in models of effective sizes for the study of evolutionary biology and conservation genetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1147-1155
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


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