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Article

Species-genetic diversity correlations in habitat fragmentation can be biased by small sample sizes

Citation
Nazareno AG & Jump A (2012) Species-genetic diversity correlations in habitat fragmentation can be biased by small sample sizes. Molecular Ecology, 21 (12), pp. 2847-2849. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05611.x

Abstract
Predicted parallel impacts of habitat fragmentation on genes and species lie at the core of conservation biology, yet tests of this rule are rare. In a recent article in Ecology Letters, Struebig et al. (2011) report that declining genetic diversity accompanies declining species diversity in tropical forest fragments. However, this study estimates diversity in many populations through extrapolation from very small sample sizes. Using the data of this recent work, we show that results estimated from the smallest sample sizes drive the species–genetic diversity correlation (SGDC), owing to a false-positive association between habitat fragmentation and loss of genetic diversity. Small sample sizes are a persistent problem in habitat fragmentation studies, the results of which often do not fit simple theoretical models. It is essential, therefore, that data assessing the proposed SGDC are sufficient in order that conclusions be robust.

Keywords
genetic diversity; population genetics; rarefaction method; sampling strategy; small sample size

Journal
Molecular Ecology: Volume 21, Issue 12

StatusPublished
Author(s)Nazareno, Alison G; Jump, Alistair
Publication date30/06/2012
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/9038
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN0962-1083
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