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AlleleRetain: a program to assess management options for conserving allelic diversity in small, isolated populations

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Abstract

Preserving genetic health is an important aspect of species conservation. Allelic diversity is particularly important to conserve, as it provides capacity for adaptation and thus enables long-term population viability. Allele retention is difficult to predict beyond one generation for real populations with complex demography and life-history traits, so we developed a computer model to simulate allele retention in small populations. AlleleRetain is an individual-based model implemented in r and can be applied to assess management options for conserving allelic diversity in small populations of animals with overlapping generations. AlleleRetain remedies the limitations of similar existing software, and its source code is freely available for further modification. AlleleRetain and its supporting materials can be downloaded from https://sites.google.com/site/alleleretain/ or CRAN (http://cran.r-project.org).

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