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Keywords:

  •  coalescent simulation;
  • demography;
  • heterogeneous environment;
  • molecular diversity;
  • spatial expansion

Abstract

We present a program called splatche (SPatiaL And Temporal Coalescences in Heterogeneous Environments) to simulate the molecular diversity of samples of genes in an environmentally heterogeneous world. Simulations are performed by, first, simulating the colonization of the world using environmental information to constrain migrations and local densities. These simulated densities and migration rates recorded over time and space are then used to simulate genetic diversity under a coalescent framework. The program thus virtually allows the translation of ecological information into molecular diversity, a novel approach that can be used to study the effect of climatic change on genetic diversity.