Population genetics on islands connected by an arbitrary network: An analytic approach

George W A Constable, Alan J. McKane

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We analyse a model consisting of a population of individuals which is subdivided into a finite set of demes, each of which has a fixed but differing number of individuals. The individuals can reproduce, die and migrate between the demes according to an arbitrary migration network. They are haploid, with two alleles present in the population; frequency-independent selection is also incorporated, where the strength and direction of selection can vary from deme to deme. The system is formulated as an individual-based model and the diffusion approximation systematically applied to express it as a set of nonlinear coupled stochastic differential equations. These can be made amenable to analysis through the elimination of fast-time variables. The resulting reduced model is analysed in a number of situations, including migration-selection balance leading to a polymorphic equilibrium of the two alleles and an illustration of how the subdivision of the population can lead to non-trivial behaviour in the case where the network is a simple hub. The method we develop is systematic, may be applied to any network, and agrees well with the results of simulations in all cases studied and across a wide range of parameter values. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-165
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2014


    • Fast-mode reduction
    • Metapopulation
    • Migration
    • Moran model
    • Selection


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