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Incorporating environmental heterogeneity in spatially-explicit simulations of human genetic diversity

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Published in Matsumara, S., Forster P., Renfrew C. Simulations, genetics and human prehistory. Symposium (29 July-1 Aug. 2005 ; Cambridge). 2008, p. 103-117
Abstract We recently developed a simulation framework (SPLATCHE) to model the past demography of human population and the resulting genetic diversity at neutral markers. Additional to range expansions and population subdivisions, we increase here the realism of our simulations by incorporating spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the environment. This heterogeneity can be translated into maps of carrying capacities (maximum density of individuals) and frictions (difficulty of moving) that will in turn influence the size of local populations and the direction and the intensity of migrations. We have considered the influence of several environmental variables: the type of vegetation directly affects the available resource and therefore the carrying capacities; streams and coastlines act as migration corridors with higher carrying capacities than the surrounding environment; a rough topography may also drastically influence migrations. We discuss in this paper each of these environmental variables and how one can estimate carrying capacities and friction values for each of them. We also present an innovative way of considering dynamic changes of vegetation through temporal vegetation heterogeneity. Finally, we examine how environmental heterogeneity might affect genetic differentiation of human populations, and discuss the limitations and perspectives of our approach.
Keywords ComputingDemographyEnvironmentHuman diversityHuman geneticsModelPeopling
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Structures
Research groups Unité d’anthropologie
Envirospace Lab
ISE Pôle Sciences
ISE Pôle Informatique environnementale
ISE Biodiversité
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RAY, Nicolas, CURRAT, Mathias, EXCOFFIER, Laurent Georges Louis. Incorporating environmental heterogeneity in spatially-explicit simulations of human genetic diversity. In: Matsumara, S., Forster P., Renfrew C (Ed.). Simulations, genetics and human prehistory. Symposium (29 July-1 Aug. 2005 ; Cambridge). [s.l.] : [s.n.], 2008. p. 103-117. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:2224

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Deposited on : 2009-07-10

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