The Effect Of Genetic Diversity On Living Things Are The Five Processes Of Evolution

1461 Words Apr 8th, 2015 6 Pages
The main cause of genetic diversity in living things are the five processes of evolution. These five processes- genetic drift, gene flow, natural selection, speciation, and mutations- all affect allele frequencies within a population in different ways, thus, creating genetic diversity. Population change is in direct relation to both genetic drift and gene flow. Genetic drift is defined as “variation in the relative frequency of different genotypes in a small population.” This variation is caused by two types of genetic drift also known as the Bottleneck effect and the Founders effect. A Bottleneck effect is typically caused by a random event such as hunting or a natural disaster which can significantly reduce a population. Although a population can gain back their original population size after a Bottleneck effect, their genes have been permanently affected, resulting in much less genetic variation than that of a population that was not affected by a Bottleneck effect. Examples of genetic diversity due to a Bottleneck effect include the lack of genetic variation due to intense hunting in the 1890’s within the Northern elephant seal population compared to the large Southern elephant seal population. A Founders effect occurs when individuals from a large population branch out and create a new colony. Due to the small population, the colony is more likely to have less genetic variation from the original population. An example of a Founders effect is the presence of Polydactyly…
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