Journal article

Lifetime Fitness Costs of Inbreeding and Being Inbred in a Critically Endangered Bird

Katherine A Harrisson, Michael JL Magrath, Jian DL Yen, Alexandra Pavlova, Neil Murray, Bruce Quin, Peter Menkhorst, Kimberly A Miller, Karina Cartwright, Paul Sunnucks



Reduced fitness as a result of inbreeding is a major threat facing many species of conservation concern [1-4]. However, few case studies for assessing the magnitude of inbreeding depression in the wild means that its relative importance as a risk factor for population persistence remains under-appreciated [5]. The increasing availability and affordability of genomic technologies provide new opportunities to address knowledge gaps around the magnitude and manifestation of inbreeding depression in wild populations [6-12]. Here, we combine over three decades of individual lifetime reproductive data and genomic data to estimate the relative lifetime and short-term fitness costs of both being inb..

View full abstract


Awarded by Australian Research Council Linkage Grant

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding was provided from the Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP160100482); Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP); Diversity Arrays Technology; Zoos Victoria; Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (ACT Government); and the Department of Parks and Wildlife (Western Australia; now Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions). B.Q. and P.M. were funded by the Victorian Government. Rebecca Rose, James Bull, and Maria Roitman performed DNA extractions. Six anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on earlier drafts. We sincerely thank the vast number of volunteers, including members of Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater, for assistance provided to the banding, bird sightings, and DNA sampling program.