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Keywords:

  • neutral theory;
  • neutrality test;
  • selection

Abstract

This paper reviews how statistical tests of neutrality have been used to address questions in molecular ecology are reviewed. The work consists of four major parts: a brief review of the current status of the neutral theory; a review of several particularly interesting examples of how statistical tests of neutrality have led to insight into ecological problems; a brief discussion of the pitfalls of assuming a strictly neutral model if it is false; and a discussion of some of the opportunities and problems that molecular ecologists face when using neutrality tests to study natural selection.