The ability of a population to cope with ecological stress in the form of disturbances, disease, etc., will depend greatly upon the overall genetic diversity available within the population. Small isolated populations will often have very high levels of inbreeding and thus lack the genetic diversity required for adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Cheetahs in Africa for example have very low levels of genetic diversity due most likely to a population bottleneck at some point in the recent past and as a result have a lower scope for surviving a disease outbreak.
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