O.N. Bjørnstad, A. Iversen and M. Hansen: The spatial structure of the gene pool of a viviparous population of Poa alpina - environmental controls and spatial constraints

Nordic Journal of Botany (1995) 15:347-354


Because both the genetic make-up and the environmental conditions of a population are spatially autocorrelated, it is difficult to infer processes of selection or drift for population genetic mappings. We propose a methodology based on partial Mantel techniques and partial autocorrelation techniques to separate the action of these processes. The method is applied to data on Poa alpina to indicate that isolation-by-distance (drift) is the main process inducing positive autocorrelation at the scale of diaspore dispersal (<100m). The pattern for larger distances is more consistent with selection.

Key words: Spatial autocorrelation; Selection; drift; Isolation-by-distance; gene pool; Genetics; Mantel correlation; Correlograms; Statistics