The extant genetic variation of a population is the legacy of both long-term and recent population dynamics. Most practical methods for estimating effective population size are only able to detect recent effects on genetic variation and do not account for long-term fluctuations in species abundance. The utility of a maximum likelihood estimator of long-term effective population size based upon the coalescent theory of gene genealogies is examined for three endangered Colorado River fishes: humpback chub (Gila…
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