The scientific study of short- and long-term changes in the size and age composition of populations and the processes driving these changes.

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21
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2answers
453 views

Smallest viable reproducing population

What is the smallest viable reproducing population, such as in a human population. By viable I mean a population which keeps genetic defects low (enough). A very strongly related question: what is ...
16
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2answers
4k views

How many humans have been in my lineage? Is it almost the same for every human currently living?

If I were to count my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, and so on up till, say chimps, or the most common ancestor, or whatever that suits the more accurate answer, how many humans would ...
13
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2answers
2k views

How many organisms have ever lived on Earth?

I've looked for some information on this, but couldn't find anything useful. Has there been any noteworthy attempt to estimate the sum amount of individuals of all species that have ever lived on ...
12
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3answers
233 views

When are population dynamics models useful?

When are population dynamics models useful? There seems to have been a lot of research about it, but how does it help? If I need data about how a population will evolve under what conditions, I need ...
11
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1answer
106 views

Vaccination and population dynamics of an epidemic

I'm trying to figure out how should a vaccination model be built to correlate with population density, and I'm having problems to understand meanings of the results I receive when I apply theory on ...
9
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1answer
769 views

How does population stability evolve?

The number of individuals constituting a population is called population size. Over time population size does not remain constant, it fluctuates to different extent over generations because of ...
9
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1answer
2k views

How many mice are on the Earth?

We are 7 billion human beings on the Earth. But how many mice are there? How would you estimate such a number?
9
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1answer
307 views

When does weak selection produce qualitatively different results from strong selection?

In evolutionary game theory, it is typical to model organisms as having a base fitness that is modified slightly by the game interaction. The ratio of the game effect versus the base fitness ...
7
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4answers
351 views

What prevents predator overpopulation?

I've often heard that a population, human or otherwise, will continue to grow as long as there is food available (assuming nothing else is killing them off). It makes sense: if you have food you can ...
7
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2answers
129 views

How does Natural Selection shape Genetic Variation?

Background Importance of the additive genetic variance As stated here, the fundamental theorem of Natural Selection (NS) by Fisher says: The rate of increase in the mean fitness of any organism ...
7
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1answer
87 views

Selection on linked loci in a diploid population

Let’s consider two linked loci $A$ and $B$ that are both bi-allelic. In consequence, we have four different possible haplotypes $A_1B_1$, $A_1B_2$, $A_2B_1$, $A_2B_2$, which frequencies are $X_1$, ...
7
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1answer
184 views

Fisher's Geometric Model for Dummies

Fisher's geometric model is still today one of the most important and fundamental model in evolutionary biology but it seems to me that most student in evolutionary biology don't really understand it ...
7
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2answers
150 views

The Assumption of Weak Selection?

I was reading this question and I failed to fully understand the introductory part of it. The OP (@Artem Kaznatcheev) says: Most analytic models like to assume weak selection because it allows ...
6
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1answer
75 views

How big should the human population be, as predicted by body mass?

I would guess there is a theory in biology which states that the population size for a given species is inversely proportional to the body mass of individuals in that species. In other words, there ...
6
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1answer
99 views

Effects of selection on effective population size

Background The effective population size ($N_e$) is a central concept of evolutionary biology and is influenced by several parameters. For example: sex ratio bias affects $N_e$ $\left(N_e = ...
6
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1answer
97 views

Hill-Roberston effects and effective population size

From this article, first page, middle of the second column: Even if harmful alleles do not become fixed, they can still reduce the efficacy of selection on neighbouring loci through a process ...
6
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1answer
162 views

Genetic Diversity and Adaptation

I am somewhat new to evolutionary biology, having studied it on my free time as a computer science student. There is one particular thing that has always bothered me for which I have not seen a good ...
6
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1answer
91 views

What does “Mutational Variance” mean?

Background The concept of mutational variance can be found in many articles including this one for example. The mutational variance of a trait number $i$ can be found in the M-matrix in position ...
5
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2answers
41 views

What is Environmental Robustness? Is it different from plasticity?

Hansen (2006) in his review uses the concept of environmental robustness independently of the other concepts of robustness (at pages 139 and 140) without defining ...
5
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1answer
64 views

Can “human exclusion zones” in national parks for preserving Wolves and Grizzlies be a good idea?

There are National Preserves in the National Parks where some human activities are permitted. But can it make sense to create "exclusion zones" so no human would be permitted in a certain area, not ...
5
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2answers
70 views

Linkage disequilibrium with multiple alleles and loci

Linkage disequilibrium $\left(D\right)$ for two bi-allelic loci is defined as: $$D=X_{11}X_{22} - X_{12}X_{21}$$ where $X_{11},\ X_{12},\ X_{21},\ X_{22}$ are the frequencies of the haplotypes ...
5
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0answers
40 views

How to define “Quasifixation” in continuous approximation of finite population?

Background Many models including the famous very first models derived by Sir Ronald Fisher in his early career, assume infinite population size. In an infinite population, an allele can rise in ...
4
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1answer
112 views

Start studying mathematical biology from basics

I am really passionate about theoretical and quantitative biology and I would like to build my future career around this topic. I've just got my bachelor's degree in biology (ecology) but scince I've ...
4
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2answers
65 views

Premise of life cycle synchronization between predator and prey

While reading about the predator satiation hypothesis of the periodical cicadas' 13/17 year life cycles, I started wondering about its premise. By the way, I understand the math behind the prime ...
4
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1answer
41 views

Drake's Law. What is the genome-wide mutation rate and what are the estimates?

Drake's rule Drake's rule states that the genome-wide mutation rate is more or less constant across all species — from E.coli to the house sparrow. Data From what I think being Drake's original ...
4
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1answer
45 views

Is there an association between environmental and mutational robustness?

The robustness of a genotype is the ability of this genotype to resist (always produce the same phenotype) to various parameters such as mutations and environment. The ability of a genotype to resist ...
4
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1answer
120 views

How to calculate the effective population size ($N_e$) with overlapping generations?

From this Source: If generations are overlapping, then the effective population size $N_e$ does not equal the population size $N$. I know mathematical formulations in order to find the effective ...
3
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2answers
481 views

Initial population when i count backwards?

My question is dealing with how many ancestors it took to produce me: --> to produce me it took 2 people (my parents) = ($2^1$) people = 2 --> one generation further included = ($2^1 + 2^2$) people ...
3
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1answer
81 views

Inbreeding depression and dominance

From this article, second paragraph of the second page A classic theoretical result is that the mean of a character controlled by a single locus i with two alleles Ai1 and Ai2 is only affected by ...
3
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1answer
82 views

Chaos theory and population cycles

I have just begun to read about Chaos theory and have come across the statement that "Period three implies chaos." My question: Does any odd period imply chaos or only 3? If so, how can populations ...
3
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2answers
667 views

Does finite rate of increase depend on mortality of individuals in a population?

As written in my lecture handouts, there two main factors in the Geometric Growth Model of populations: $R_{0}$ is the expected lifetime reproductive output. This way, for unicellulars, for example, ...
3
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0answers
40 views

How many pandas should exist?

I have a degree in Biology so I'm a little embarassed that I never learned this, but... How do we know 1600 Pandas isn't enough? I know that we have historical numbers (although I couldn't find ...
3
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0answers
62 views

Understanding the meaning of $s$ and $t$ in a population genetics equation

Sewall Wright in this article (1937) at the end of page 313 gives the equation: $$\Delta q = (s+tq)q(1-q) \space\space\space\space\space\space\space\space\space(1)$$ This equation is an ...
2
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2answers
57 views

Conservation Genetics - Book recommendations

Can you please give me some advice for a book in (evolutionary) conservation genetics that offers an in-depth review of the mathematical formulations used in this field. I read the book Evolutionary ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Definition of Linkage Desiquilibrium (LD)

According to wiki, linkage disequilibrium $D$ equals $$D = x_{11} - p_1\cdot q_1$$ where: $$ \begin{matrix} \text{Haplotype} & \text{Frequency}\\ A_1B_1 & x_{11}\\ ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Effective population size when the population sizes varies from season to season

Let's think of a species which has four generations per year and which population size changes from season to season so that the population size is 100 in summer, 200 in spring, 50 in autumn and 20 in ...
2
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1answer
224 views

Population Growth Rate Question?

A population of 600 birds faced a problem of biological magnification resulting in a large number of deaths reducing their population to 350. But 230 births also took place and 21 birds immigrated ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Range of feasible coefficients in an unlimited growth model

If you are given an unlimited growth model in the form: $\frac {dP(t)}{dt} = k P(t)$ Obviously the population growth would never be unlimited, but let's presume for the moment that we are ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Coefficient of relationship and path of coefficient

A path of coefficient of relationship is defined as $$\rho_{AO} = \left( \frac{1}{2}\right)^n \sqrt { \frac{1+f_A}{1+f_O}}$$ This SE post discusses this definition From this, the coefficient of ...
2
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1answer
197 views

Why do genetic drift generates negative linkage disequilibrium?

The very first sentence of the abstract of this article are: "In finite populations subject to selection, genetic drift generates negative linkage disequilibrium, on average, even if selection ...
2
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1answer
44 views

$F_{ST}$ when considering a multi-allelic locus

Sewall Wright defined the $F_{ST}$ in a metapopulation as being: $$F_{ST} = \frac{\text{Var}(p)}{\bar p (1-\bar p)}$$ , where $p$ is a vector of frequencies of a given allele and $\bar p$ and ...
2
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0answers
45 views

What is the allelic frequency at mutation-selection-drift equilibrium?

mutation-selection equilibrium At mutation-selection equilibrium the expected frequency $f$ of a given locus is $$f ≈ \frac{\mu}{s\cdot h}$$ , where $\mu$ is the mutation rate, $s$ is the selection ...
2
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0answers
45 views

Inbreeding Coefficient and Coefficient of Relationship

Wikipedia gives the following formula to calculate a "path of coefficient of relationship" between an ancestor $A$ and an offspring $O$: $$\rho_{AO} = 2^{-n} \left( \frac{1+f_A}{1+f_O} \right)^{1/2} ...
1
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2answers
92 views

Effect on fitness of mutations

What is the distribution/probability density function (PDF) of impacts on fitness of new mutations? I very welcome any partial answer that does not give the whole PDF but just some information ...
1
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1answer
38 views

Dominance/recessivity of new mutations

What is the distribution/probability density function (PDF) of recessivity/dominance of new mutations? I very welcome any partial answer that does not give the whole PDF but just some information ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Does a top heavy population grow, decline or stabilize?

Imagine a population that has a larger proportion of older individuals than younger ones, what could possible happen to it in the future? I am guessing that if the older individuals reproduce, the ...
1
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1answer
62 views

Various Genetic Loads and their Definitions

In population genetics, we talk about several types of genetic loads (also called just loads). I am asking for a exhaustive list and a short definition. Here are for example some genetic loads that ...
1
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1answer
77 views

Coalescent theory - independence of coalescent times

Let $T_i$ be the time to coalesce from $n(t)=i+1$ to $n(t)=i$, where $n(t)$ is the number of sites that have not coalesced yet. In the below example the maximum $n(0)=6$. As I understand it, many ...
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1answer
34 views

Coalescent Theory - Probability for $k$ alleles that of one coalescence event occured $t+1$ generations ago

From this textbook Under the wright-Fisher model of genetic drift and under the assumption that all alleles are neutral, the probability that $k$ alleles had $k$ distinct parent alleles the previous ...
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1answer
70 views

Interpretation of graph from evolutionary biology

I am studying evolutionary biology, and been presented with this graph: I am having some difficulties understand its meaning. For a start, why is time measured as a fraction of the population size? ...