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    STUDIA BIOLOGIA - Issue no. 2 / 2006  
         
  Article:   ASPECTS OF THE EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS IN SMALL POPULATIONS.

Authors:  NICOLAE COMAN, MANUELA DORDEA.
 
       
         
  Abstract:  The Hardy-Weinberg law refers to extremely large populations, where allele and genotype frequencies remain constant from one generation to another, provided that there were no perturbing outside forces, such as selection or migration. Such populations are hypothetical and do not evolve. In smaller populations, allele and genotype frequencies do change over time, because of sampling errors, increase in selection pressure and inbreeding. Consequently, small populations might survive, go to extinction or join other conspecific populations as immigrants. Based on literature as well as on our own research studies, the present paper is a review regarding the effects of population size fluctuations, genetic drift, the founder effect, migration and inbreeding, mechanisms that work in small populations and may cause changes in gene pools, followed by modifications of selection pressures and, implicitly, by evolution.  
         
     
         
         
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