Dismantling the Mantel tests
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2013
© 2012 The Authors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution © 2012 British Ecological Society
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Volume 4, Issue 4, pages 336–344, April 2013
How to Cite
Guillot, G., Rousset, F. (2013), Dismantling the Mantel tests. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 4: 336–344. doi: 10.1111/2041-210x.12018
- Issue published online: 2 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 29 JUL 2012
- Agence Nationale pour la Recherche. Grant Number: ANR-09-BLAN-0145-01
- Danish Centre for Scientific Computing. Grant Number: 2010-06-04
- landscape ecology;
- landscape genetics;
- geographic epidemiology;
- spatial structure;
- isolation by distance;
- isolation by resistance;
- type I error;
- Loa loa
- The simple and partial Mantel tests are routinely used in many areas of evolutionary biology to assess the significance of the association between two or more matrices of distances relative to the same pairs of individuals or demes. Partial Mantel tests rather than simple Mantel tests are widely used to assess the relationship between two variables displaying some form of structure.
- We show that contrary to a widely shared belief, partial Mantel tests are not valid in this case, and their bias remains close to that of the simple Mantel test.
- We confirm that strong biases are expected under a sampling design and spatial correlation parameter drawn from an actual study.
- The Mantel tests should not be used in case autocorrelation is suspected in both variables compared under the null hypothesis. We outline alternative strategies. The R code used for our computer simulations is distributed as supporting material.