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The effect of variable environments on polymorphism at loci with several alleles I. A symmetric model

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Much of the extant polymorphism has been attributed to spatial and temporal variation among selection regimes. Analysis of models entailing two alleles at a single locus has demonstrated that polymorphism may result from variation among selection regimes which prescribe monomorphism if constant. This relationship is studied in the context of several alleles at a locus.

One result which is not valid with only two alleles is that variation among selection regimes which specify polymorphic equilibria may lead to a stable monomorphic equilibrium. The analyses of temporal variation and total panmixia spatial variation among environments show that temporal variation allows the simultaneous stability of equilibrium configurations which cannot be simultaneously stable under total panmixia spatial variation (hard or soft selection). The principle that polymorphism is more readily maintained with spatial than temporal variation is invalidated.

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Supported in part by Purdue Research Foundation and National Science Foundation (USA) grant MCS-8002227

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Campbell, R.B. The effect of variable environments on polymorphism at loci with several alleles I. A symmetric model. J. Math. Biology 13, 199–208 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00275214

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Key words

  • Population genetics
  • Polymorphism
  • Multiple alleles
  • Geographic variation
  • Temporal variation
  • Symmetric selection