No Need to Isolate Genetics

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Science  27 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5394, pp. 1658-1659
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5394.1658

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Does the loss of genetic variability in small populations contribute to their extinction? Soulé comments on this question in his Perspective, referring to new data from a long-term study of the declining population of the Illinois prairie chicken (Westemeier et al.) on p. 1695 of this issue. Results from this study indicate that inbreeding depression does in fact exacerbate the likelihood of extinction.