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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-32621-6-ch021
Pages 129-134
First published 30 July 2014

Structured Populations with Limited Resources Exhibit Higher Rates of Complex Function Evolution

Arthur W. Covert III, Siena McFetridge and Evan DeLord

Abstract (Excerpt)

The impact of population structure on evolving populations is difficult to study. Populations broken up into groups of organisms and connected by low levels of migration will experience different types of geneflow than normal unstructured populations. Various studies, spanning decades of research, have lead to seemingly contradictory conclusions. Some point to population structure as a means to improve adaptation, others argue that population structure hinders evolution. We investigate how population structure impacts the evolution of complex functions in environments with limited resources. We find that structured populations with limited resources tend to evolve complex functions at a higher rate than unstructured populations, across a broad range of migration rates. This suggests that population structure may have an important impact on evolution, in both sexual and asexual populations, at least at certain migration rates.