Genetic variation in natural populations

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2012
End date: 31/12/2014
Funding: 1800000 SEK


We are currently facing a worldwide collapse of many exploited fish and wildlife populations that are suffering from reductions in population size and isolation as a result of habitat destruction and overharvest. Biologically sustainable use of natural populations provides a variety of complex challenges, and this project focuses on microevolutionary processes from both empirical and theoretical perspectives that relate directly to such challenges. Particular aims include i) developing a genetically based method for assessing effective population size (Ne) that accounts for the effects of migration; preliminary results show that the currently most common approach may seriously underestimate the true Ne (drastically exaggerating the impression of *genetic vulnerability*), ii) finding a measure of genetic differentiation that is not affected by heterozygosity and mutation rate, thus permitting comparisons of divergence patterns in organisms with different levels of genetic variation and of estimates obtained from different sets of genetic markers, and iii) applying these new methods to Next Generation whole genome sequencing data from populations of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) in the Baltic Sea and nearby waters. It will be the first time that this type of sequencing data is generated for wild animal populations, permitting detailed analyses of genetic changes over a 30 year period of extensive harvest at c. 10 million selected and neutral genetic markers.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:56