Standard Article

Stationary Allele Frequency Distributions

  1. Bruce Rannala

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005465.pub2



How to Cite

Rannala, B. 2008. Stationary Allele Frequency Distributions. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 APR 2013)


Forces that determine the allele frequencies in natural populations include genetic drift, natural selection, migration and mutation. A balance of opposing forces can, in some cases, cause allele frequencies to approach a stationary distribution over time. The form of this distribution is not influenced by initial allele frequencies, but instead is determined by the relative magnitudes of different evolutionary forces.


  • probability distribution;
  • neutral theory;
  • migration;
  • mutation;
  • sampling distribution;
  • population genetics