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Keywords:

  • founder effect;
  • long distance dispersal;
  • mixing of genes;
  • range expansion;
  • spatial genetic structure;
  • surfing phenomenon

Abstract

There is an increasing recognition that long distance dispersal (LDD) plays a key role in establishing spatial genetic structure during colonization. Recent works, focused on short distance dispersal, demonstrated that a neutral mutation arising at the colonization front can either ‘surf’ with the wave front and reach high frequencies or stay near its place of origin at low frequencies. Here, we examine how LDD, and more generally the shape of the dispersal kernel, modifies this phenomenon and how the width of the colonization corridor affects the fate of the mutation. We demonstrate that when LDD events are more frequent, the ‘surfing phenomenon’ is less frequent, probably because any alleles can get far ahead from the colonization front and preclude the invasion by others alleles, thus leading to an attenuation of the diversity loss. We also demonstrate that the width of the colonization corridor influences the fate of the mutation, wide spaces decreasing the probability of invasion. Overall, the genetic structure of diversity resulted not only from LDD but also particularly from the shape of the dispersal kernel.