Immigration into small isolated captive and wild populations is recommended to alleviate inbreeding depression. The effects on reproductive fitness of introducing one immigrant into 10 small partially inbred captive populations of D. melanogaster were evaluated. The relative reproductive fitness of the immigrant populations (0.628) was approximately double that of the isolated populations (0.294) and about halfway between the isolated populations and the outbred base population (1.00). Every replicate population increased in fitness following the introduction of an immigrant. The improvements in reproductive fitness shown by the immigrant populations were not due to F1 hybrid vigor, as the experimental populations underwent three generations of random mating prior to the fitness tests. These results indicate substantial benefits can be gained by the translocation of as few as a single animal between small, partially inbred populations. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- wild populations