Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Genetics. 2007 Sep;177(1):435-48. Epub 2007 Jul 29.

The population genetic structure of clonal organisms generated by exponentially bounded and fat-tailed dispersal.

Author information

  • 1Department of Disease and Stress Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich NR4 7UH, United Kingdom. luzie.wingen@bbsrc.ac.uk


Long-distance dispersal (LDD) plays an important role in many population processes like colonization, range expansion, and epidemics. LDD of small particles like fungal spores is often a result of turbulent wind dispersal and is best described by functions with power-law behavior in the tails ("fat tailed"). The influence of fat-tailed LDD on population genetic structure is reported in this article. In computer simulations, the population structure generated by power-law dispersal with exponents in the range of -2 to -1, in distinct contrast to that generated by exponential dispersal, has a fractal structure. As the power-law exponent becomes smaller, the distribution of individual genotypes becomes more self-similar at different scales. Common statistics like GST are not well suited to summarizing differences between the population genetic structures. Instead, fractal and self-similarity statistics demonstrated differences in structure arising from fat-tailed and exponential dispersal. When dispersal is fat tailed, a log-log plot of the Simpson index against distance between subpopulations has an approximately constant gradient over a large range of spatial scales. The fractal dimension D2 is linearly inversely related to the power-law exponent, with a slope of approximately -2. In a large simulation arena, fat-tailed LDD allows colonization of the entire space by all genotypes whereas exponentially bounded dispersal eventually confines all descendants of a single clonal lineage to a relatively small area.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (8)Free text

F igure  1.—
F igure  2.—
F igure  3.—
F igure  4.—
F igure  5.—
F igure  6.—
F igure  7.—
F igure  8.—
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk