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Journal Articles Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Year : 2012

Allee effect promotes diversity in traveling waves of colonization

Lionel Roques
Jimmy Garnier
Etienne K. Klein

Abstract

Most mathematical studies on expanding populations have fo-cused on the rate of range expansion of a population. However, the genetic consequences of population expansion remain an under-studied body of theory. Describing an expanding population as a traveling wave solution derived from a classical reaction-diffusion model, we analyze the spatio-temporal evolution of its genetic structure. We show that the presence of an Allee effect (i.e., a lower per capita growth rate at low densities) drastically modifies genetic diversity, both in the colonization front and behind it. With an Allee effect (i.e., pushed colonization waves), all of the genetic diversity of a population is conserved in the colonization front. In the absence of an Allee effect (i.e., pulled waves), only the furthest forward members of the initial population persist in the coloniza-tion front, indicating a strong erosion of the diversity in this population. These results counteract commonly held notions that the Allee effect generally has adverse consequences. Our study contributes new knowledge to the surfing phenomenon in continuous models without random genetic drift. It also provides insight into the dynamics of traveling wave solutions and leads to a new interpretation of the mathematical notions of pulled and pushed waves. R
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Dates and versions

hal-01257401 , version 1 (16-01-2016)

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Lionel Roques, Jimmy Garnier, François Hamel, Etienne K. Klein. Allee effect promotes diversity in traveling waves of colonization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2012, 109 (23), pp.8828-8833. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1201695109⟩. ⟨hal-01257401⟩
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