Free Essay: The Concept of Effective Population Size

Published: 2022-12-07
Free Essay: The Concept of Effective Population Size
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Ecology Population Human
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 531 words
5 min read

In a rapidly developing world, resources are increasingly becoming scarce. As such, the temptation to overexploit resources to near extinction is a reality. Therefore, ecologists face a constant task of ensuring that nature maintains a certain balance that not only allows for economic pursuits but also prevents extinction. This assignment explores the concept of effective population size, Ne, both in the natural habitat where random mating occurs and in a controlled environment where each male in the population mates with a single female through the two questions asked.

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The effective population size of a population of 80 breeding females and only 20 males

The effective population size is sixty-four.

That is, Ne = ( 4NmNf ) / ( Nm + Nf ) s

( 4 x 20 x 80 ) / ( 20 + 80 )= 64

This effective population is a typical situation of the scenario that happens in nature. In an attempt to put this into perspective, consider what happens when economic activities such as hunting and fishing target a population. An unrestrained and indiscriminate pursuit of human endeavours would result in a drastic drop in the populations or even wipe out the entire species. Controlled harvesting of resources would mean care and caution to ensure that a breeding stock to replenish the harvested stock remains. At times, these might call for allowing extended periods to ensure that indeed, exploitation stock did replenish. The assumption in nature is that not all males are viable for procreation and that the mating occurs on random patterns. For instance, a seemingly natural method to achieve this fete would be to hunt or fish only a specific size of an animal of fish. Traps could be such that they allow the young ones that have not reached a specific size to get away. These young ones then become the parents to the next generation. The assumption here is that all the parents get the same number of young ones.

Due to the inevitable economic exploits, regulation and policies much be in place to ensure that for continued economic activities, there is an effective population size maintained. The game and marine, for instance, rangers should equip with the necessary statistical and economic principles to empower them to decide correctly to reap maximum benefits over time.

How the Effective Population Size Differs for the same population size of 100, but with 50 breeding females and 50 breeding males (monogamous)

The effective population size, Ne, considers the number of individuals contributing to the birth of the next population. Consequently, in a monogamous case, every individual contributes genes to the next generation. Therefore, Ne would be equal to the number of breeding population, which is a hundred. There would be an increase in the effective population size. The effective population from calculations is as follows.


In this scenario, it is more appropriate to liken it to an artificial set up meant to achieve some results. For instance, in an effort to increase the number of a certain animals' breed in a certain part of the ecosystem, it would be necessary to move a population to it and ensure that breeding takes place in a controlled environment. The intention would be to generate the real population size, N, that would allow the species to rise from the brink of extinction.

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