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Question

A very small population of a species faces a greater threat of extinction than a larger population. Provide a suitable genetic explanation.


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Solution

A very small population of a species faces a greater threat of extinction than a larger population due to the following reasons: -

  1. A smaller population is more vulnerable to extinction than a bigger one. Smaller populations are subject to more erratic fluctuations, which could cause a higher mortality rate than birth rate and ultimately cause extinction.
  2. Additionally, in smaller populations, there is more inbreeding between the individuals, which lowers the potential of the population by allowing detrimental mutations to express themselves through heterozygosity.
  3. The quantity of accumulated variation is lower in smaller populations than it is in bigger populations.
  4. Under varying environmental conditions, variation aids in population survival.

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