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Common garden experiments to study local adaptation need to account for population structure

Abstract : Common garden experiments are valuable to study adaptive phenomenon and adaptive potential, in that they allow to study local adaptation without the confounding effect of phenotypic plasticity. The Q ST − F ST comparison framework, comparing genetic differentiation at the phe-notypic and molecular level, is the usual way to test and measure whether local adaptation influences phenotypic divergence between populations. Here, we highlight that the assumptions behind the expected equality Q ST = F ST under neutrality correspond to a very simple model of population genetics. While the equality might, on average, be robust to violation of such assumptions , more complex population structure can generate strong evolutionary noise. Synthesis We highlight recent methodological developments aimed at overcoming this issue and at providing a more general framework to detect local adaptation, using less restrictive assumptions. We invite empiricists to look into these methods and theorists to continue developing even more general methods.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 5:17:59 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 4:02:37 AM
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Pierre de Villemereuil, Oscar Gaggiotti, Jérôme Goudet. Common garden experiments to study local adaptation need to account for population structure. Journal of Ecology, Wiley, In press, ⟨10.1111/1365-2745.13528⟩. ⟨hal-02976905⟩

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