Population Ecology

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 55–62

Extinction of populations by inbreeding depression under stochastic environments

  • Y. Tanaka

DOI: 10.1007/s101440050009

Cite this article as:
Tanaka, Y. Popul Ecol (2000) 42: 55. doi:10.1007/s101440050009


Inbreeding depression may induce rapid extinction due to positive feedbacks between inbreeding depression and reduction of population size, which is often referred to as extinction vortex by inbreeding depression. The present analysis has demonstrated that the extinction vortex is likely to happen with realistic parameter values of genomic mutation rate of lethals or semilethals, equilibrium population size, intrinsic rate of natural increase, and rate of population decline caused by nongenetic extrinsic factors. Simulation models incorporating stochastic fluctuations of population size further indicated that extinction by inbreeding depression is facilitated by environmental fluctuations in population size. The results suggest that there is a positive interaction between genetic stochasticity and environmental stochasticity for extinction of populations by inbreeding depression.

Key words Extinction vortex Deleterious mutation Environmental stochasticity Genetic load Conservation biology 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Population Ecology and Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Tanaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Theoretical Ecology, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Yokohama National University, 79-7 Tokiwadai, Hodogaya, Yokohama 240-8501, Japan Tel. +81-45-339-4367; Fax +81-45-339-4367 e-mail: tanaka@kan.ynu.ac.jpJP

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