Estimation of population size with molecular genetic data
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

All these words:

For very narrow results

This exact word or phrase:

When looking for a specific result

Any of these words:

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

None of these words:

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Publication Date Range:


Document Data


Document Type:






Clear All

Query Builder

Query box

Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Estimation of population size with molecular genetic data

Filetype[PDF-576.54 KB]


  • Description:
    "Population size is a central parameter in ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. Until the advent of molecular genetic methods, population size was measured through observation and/or capture of individuals. Now, molecular data are frequently used to estimate size. There are several definitions of population size, which differ mainly with respect to the temporal, spatial and genealogical scale of reference. Those interested in the number of individuals usually study the census size, whereas those primarily interested in the genetic consequences of population size generally study the effective size. The various definitions of effective size are largely defined in reference to a Wright/ Fisher or 'ideal' population. We provide an overview of the different definitions of population size and of the methods to estimate them using molecular genetic data, with an emphasis on recently developed methods for estimating effective size. These methods can use genetic samples from single or multiple points in time. They can also estimate effective size in a defined interval or an indeterminate one that ranges from several generations to the entire coalescent history of the genetic sample. We also discuss methods for evaluating changes in size, both long-term changes and recent reductions or bottlenecks. We argue that the scale of reference is crucial in the choice and interpretation of a size estimation method. Specifically, we note that when estimating and reporting a population size investigators should 1) specify precisely the time period and spatial area over which the size is believed to prevail, 2) remember that different genetically-based methods for estimating effective size do apply to specific time periods and time scales, 3) note that none of the three main effective sizes-inbreeding, variance, or eigenvalue-are intrinsically associated with a particular time scale"--Abstract.
  • Content Notes:
    Eric C. Anderson, John Carlos Garza.

    "September 2009."

    Mode of access: World Wide Web.

    System requirements: Internet browser; Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    Includes bibliographical references (p. 41-58).

  • Document Type:
  • Place as Subject:
  • Rights Information:
    Public Domain
  • Compliance:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • File Type:

Supporting Files

  • No Additional Files

More +

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at

Version 3.21