Intrademic Genetic Structure and Natural Selection in Insects

  • David E. McCauley
  • Peter W. Goff


Genetic structure can be defined as the manner in which genetic variation is distributed within and among individuals grouped at hierarchical spatial scales. Classically, genetic structure has been regarded as an interdemic phenomenon (Wright 1931). In that view, species are subdivided into some number of more or less randomly mating subunits, or demes, that are connected to one another by some pattern of gene flow. An individual is characterized by its genotype, a deme, by its allele frequency. Genetic structure can then be quantified as some function of the variance among demes in allele frequency. Defined in this manner, genetic structure arises owing to the diversifying effects of genetic drift and founding events as they operate independently in the various demes, or from spatial variation in selection pressures. It is limited by the gene flow that occurs when individuals migrate among populations. By definition, interdemic structure persists across generations, though it can be modified.


Gene Flow Genetic Structure Habitat Patch Multiple Paternity Resource Patch 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. McCauley
    • 1
  • Peter W. Goff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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