Population Bottleneck

New phrases for your lexicon – coming soon to a theatre near you:

Population bottleneck

Wikipedia.org defines a population bottleneck as, “an evolutionary event in which a significant percentage of a population or species is killed or otherwise prevented from reproducing, and the population is reduced by 50 per cent or more, often by several orders of magnitude.” This scenario is quite familiar to those even nominally well-versed in Peak Oil literature.

Founder effect

Natural barriers such as mountains, rivers, and deserts, as well as new natural barriers such as bodies of water brought on by Global Warming, will no longer be traversable by petroleum-powered vehicles. The gene pool in these populations will be significantly reduced as a result of their isolation, and successive generations will not have the benefit of the genetic diversity now available. The genetic traits of the populations that initially survive collapse will become the genetic heritage of their offspring. This process is a type of population bottleneck called the founder effect. Depending on environmental conditions, time, and the degree of isolation, the founder effect can result in the emergence of entirely new species. Australia???s menagerie of unique wildlife is a result of the founder effect on animal populations isolated for millions of years.

Do you know what this means? Choose your neighbors carefully. And your location.

Maybe it will be your genes that mutate into a new species, homo horribilius. Or homo stupidless.


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One thought on “Population Bottleneck

  • March 5, 2006 at 7:41 pm
    boy oh boy is this true. this is a time to also consider who you take with you, if you are taking people not of your family unit. in a long-run perspective, it would be better to take a person with a radically different genetic history than yourself rather than someone of very similar genetics. this is basic genetics at its shrewdest, and unless you are trying to achieve a true-breeding variety you want as diverse genetics as possible.
    i’m not advocating taking random people into your bunker but Joe In-Bred Redneck (i seriously know a guy who is the product of second counsins, his parents were BOTH children of second cousins so don’t go blasting me for stereotyping. gotta love some of the (small) areas in the southern appalachians)) should be a no brainer. perhaps literally.

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