The change in the relative frequency in which a gene variant [allele] occurs in a population due to random sampling and chance: The alleles in offspring are a random sample of those in the parents, and chance has a role in determining whether a given individual survives and reproduces. A population's allele frequency is the fraction of the gene copies that share a particular form. Genetic drift is an important evolutionary process, which leads to changes in allele frequencies over time. It may cause gene variants to disappear completely, and thereby reduce genetic variability. In contrast to natural selection, which makes gene variants more common or less common depending on their reproductive success, the changes due to genetic drift are not driven by environmental or adaptive pressures, and may be beneficial, neutral, or detrimental to reproductive success. The effect of genetic drift is larger in small populations, and smaller in large populations.