Characteristics of the variance effective population size over time using an age structured model with variable size
2013 (English)In: Theoretical Population Biology, ISSN 0040-5809, E-ISSN 1096-0325, Vol. 90, 91-103 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The variance effective population size (N-ev) is a key concept in population biology, because it quantifies the microevolutionary process of random genetic drift, and understanding the characteristics of N-ev is thus of central importance. Current formulas for Nev for populations with overlapping generations weight age classes according to their reproductive values (i.e. reflecting the contribution of genes from separate age classes to the population growth) to obtain a correct measure of genetic drift when computing the variance of the allele frequency change over time. In this paper, we examine the effect of applying different weights to the age classes using a novel analytical approach for exploring N-ev. We consider a haploid organism with overlapping generations and populations of increasing, declining, or constant expected size and stochastic variation with respect to the number of individuals in the separate age classes. We define Nov, as a function of how the age classes are weighted, and of the span between the two points in time, when measuring allele frequency change. With this model, time profiles for N-ev can be calculated for populations with various life histories and with fluctuations in life history composition, using different weighting schemes. We examine analytically and by simulations when Nei, using a weighting scheme with respect to reproductive contribution of separate age classes, accurately reflect the variance of the allele frequency change due to genetic drift over time. We show that the discrepancy of N-ev, calculated with reproductive values as weights, compared to when individuals are weighted equally, tends to a constant when the time span between the two measurements increases. This constant is zero only for a population with a constant expected population size. Our results confirm that the effect of ignoring overlapping generations, when empirically assessing Nell from allele frequency shifts, gets smaller as the time interval between samples increases. Our model has empirical applications including assessment of (i) time intervals necessary to permit ignoring the effect of overlapping generations for N-ev estimation by means of the temporal method, and (ii) effects of life table manipulation on N-ev over varying time periods.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 90, 91-103 p.
Variance effective population size, Fluctuating size of age classes, Overlapping generations, Temporal method
Mathematics Biological Sciences
Research subject Mathematical Statistics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98288DOI: 10.1016/j.tpb.2013.09.014ISI: 000327925000009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98288DiVA: diva2:684414
FunderSwedish Research CouncilSwedish Environmental Protection Agency