TY - JOUR
AB - All species are restricted in their distribution. Currently, ecological models can only explain such limits if patches vary in quality, leading to asymmetrical dispersal, or if genetic variation is too low at the margins for adaptation. However, population genetic models suggest that the increase in genetic variance resulting from dispersal should allow adaptation to almost any ecological gradient. Clearly therefore, these models miss something that prevents evolution in natural populations. We developed an individual-based simulation to explore stochastic effects in these models. At high carrying capacities, our simulations largely agree with deterministic predictions. However, when carrying capacity is low, the population fails to establish for a wide range of parameter values where adaptation was expected from previous models. Stochastic or transient effects appear critical around the boundaries in parameter space between simulation behaviours. Dispersal, gradient steepness, and population density emerge as key factors determining adaptation on an ecological gradient.
AU - Bridle, Jon
AU - Polechova, Jitka
AU - Kawata, Masakado
AU - Butlin, Roger
ID - 4134
IS - 4
JF - Ecology Letters
TI - Why is adaptation prevented at ecological margins? New insights from individual-based simulations
VL - 13
ER -
TY - JOUR
AB - We investigate a new model for populations evolving in a spatial continuum. This model can be thought of as a spatial version of the Lambda-Fleming-Viot process. It explicitly incorporates both small scale reproduction events and large scale extinction-recolonisation events. The lineages ancestral to a sample from a population evolving according to this model can be described in terms of a spatial version of the Lambda-coalescent. Using a technique of Evans (1997), we prove existence and uniqueness in law for the model. We then investigate the asymptotic behaviour of the genealogy of a finite number of individuals sampled uniformly at random (or more generally `far enough apart') from a two-dimensional torus of sidelength L as L tends to infinity. Under appropriate conditions (and on a suitable timescale) we can obtain as limiting genealogical processes a Kingman coalescent, a more general Lambda-coalescent or a system of coalescing Brownian motions (with a non-local coalescence mechanism).
AU - Barton, Nicholas H
AU - Etheridge, Alison
AU - Véber, Amandine
ID - 4243
IS - 7
JF - Electronic Journal of Probability
TI - A new model for evolution in a spatial continuum
VL - 15
ER -
TY - JOUR
AB - Biological traits result in part from interactions between different genetic loci. This can lead to sign epistasis, in which a beneficial adaptation involves a combination of individually deleterious or neutral mutations; in this case, a population must cross a “fitness valley” to adapt. Recombination can assist this process by combining mutations from different individuals or retard it by breaking up the adaptive combination. Here, we analyze the simplest fitness valley, in which an adaptation requires one mutation at each of two loci to provide a fitness benefit. We present a theoretical analysis of the effect of recombination on the valley-crossing process across the full spectrum of possible parameter regimes. We find that low recombination rates can speed up valley crossing relative to the asexual case, while higher recombination rates slow down valley crossing, with the transition between the two regimes occurring when the recombination rate between the loci is approximately equal to the selective advantage provided by the adaptation. In large populations, if the recombination rate is high and selection against single mutants is substantial, the time to cross the valley grows exponentially with population size, effectively meaning that the population cannot acquire the adaptation. Recombination at the optimal (low) rate can reduce the valley-crossing time by up to several orders of magnitude relative to that in an asexual population.
AU - Weissman, Daniel
AU - Feldman, Marcus
AU - Fisher, Daniel
ID - 3303
IS - 4
JF - Genetics
TI - The rate of fitness-valley crossing in sexual populations
VL - 186
ER -
TY - JOUR
AB - We investigated temporal changes in hybridization and introgression between native red deer (Cervus elaphus) and invasive Japanese sika (Cervus nippon) on the Kintyre Peninsula, Scotland, over 15 years, through analysis of 1513 samples of deer at 20 microsatellite loci and a mtDNA marker. We found no evidence that either the proportion of recent hybrids, or the levels of introgression had changed over the study period. Nevertheless, in one population where the two species have been in contact since ∼1970, 44% of individuals sampled during the study were hybrids. This suggests that hybridization between these species can proceed fairly rapidly. By analysing the number of alleles that have introgressed from polymorphic red deer into the genetically homogenous sika population, we reconstructed the haplotypes of red deer alleles introduced by backcrossing. Five separate hybridization events could account for all the recently hybridized sika-like individuals found across a large section of the Peninsula. Although we demonstrate that low rates of F1 hybridization can lead to substantial introgression, the progress of hybridization and introgression appears to be unpredictable over the short timescales.
AU - Senn, Helen
AU - Goodman, Simon
AU - Swanson, Graeme
AU - Barton, Nicholas H
AU - Pemberton, Josephine
ID - 3604
IS - 5
JF - Molecular Ecology
TI - Investigating temporal changes in hybridisation and introgression between invasive sika (Cervus nippon) and native red deer (Cervus elaphus) on the Kintyre Peninsula, Scotland
VL - 19
ER -
TY - JOUR
AB - There is a close analogy between statistical thermodynamics and the evolution of allele frequencies under mutation, selection and random drift. Wright's formula for the stationary distribution of allele frequencies is analogous to the Boltzmann distribution in statistical physics. Population size, 2N, plays the role of the inverse temperature, 1/kT, and determines the magnitude of random fluctuations. Log mean fitness, View the MathML source, tends to increase under selection, and is analogous to a (negative) energy; a potential function, U, increases under mutation in a similar way. An entropy, SH, can be defined which measures the deviation from the distribution of allele frequencies expected under random drift alone; the sum View the MathML source gives a free fitness that increases as the population evolves towards its stationary distribution. Usually, we observe the distribution of a few quantitative traits that depend on the frequencies of very many alleles. The mean and variance of such traits are analogous to observable quantities in statistical thermodynamics. Thus, we can define an entropy, SΩ, which measures the volume of allele frequency space that is consistent with the observed trait distribution. The stationary distribution of the traits is View the MathML source; this applies with arbitrary epistasis and dominance. The entropies SΩ, SH are distinct, but converge when there are so many alleles that traits fluctuate close to their expectations. Populations tend to evolve towards states that can be realised in many ways (i.e., large SΩ), which may lead to a substantial drop below the adaptive peak; we illustrate this point with a simple model of genetic redundancy. This analogy with statistical thermodynamics brings together previous ideas in a general framework, and justifies a maximum entropy approximation to the dynamics of quantitative traits.
AU - Barton, Nicholas H
AU - Coe, Jason
ID - 3775
IS - 2
JF - Journal of Theoretical Biology
TI - On the application of statistical physics to evolutionary biology
VL - 259
ER -