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Frequency dependence limits divergent evolution by favouring rare immigrants over residents [Nature]

par Frédéric Magné - publié le , mis à jour le

Two distinct forms of natural selection promote adaptive biological diversity. Divergent selection occurs when different environments favour different phenotypes, leading to increased differences between populations. Negative frequency-dependent selection occurs when rare variants within a population are favoured over common ones, increasing diversity within populations. These two diversifying forces promote genetic variation at different spatial scales, and may act in opposition, but their relative effects remain unclear because they are rarely measured concurrently. Here we show that negative frequency-dependent selection within populations can favor rare immigrants over locally adapted residents. We reciprocally transplanted lake and stream ecotypes of threespine stickleback into lake and stream habitats, while manipulating the relative abundance of residents versus immigrants.(...)

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