I am in my early 40s. When I was in high school and college, the term "Genetic Bottleneck" was used to describe what happens when a very small population reproduces without gene flow from other populations.

It seems that now, "Population Bottleneck" is being used to describe the same things.

Are they the same thing, and if so, what was the reason for the change in terminology?

I am not complaining, but it makes it does make it difficult to effectively use search engines when the terms change, so I am curious as to whether they really are the same thing or are just similar things.

Thank you for your time,


The two terms are basically used interchangeably in populations genetics. I'm not sure if there has been a systematic replacement of one term by the other through time, I have seen both used regularly for the last two decades at least.

Understandably, biologists interested in population dynamics and demography but not concerned with genetic implications questions tend to prefer the term "population bottleneck".