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Journal Article

Evolutionary rescue in randomly mating, selfing, and clonal populations

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Uecker, H. (2017). Evolutionary rescue in randomly mating, selfing, and clonal populations. Evolution, 71(4), 845-858. doi:10.1111/evo.13191.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-39F6-B
Severe environmental change can drive a population extinct unless the population adapts in time to the new conditions (“evolutionary rescue”). How does biparental sexual reproduction influence the chances of population persistence compared to clonal reproduction or selfing? In this article, we set up a one-locus two-allele model for adaptation in diploid species, where rescue is contingent on the establishment of the mutant homozygote. Reproduction can occur by random mating, selfing, or clonally. Random mating generates and destroys the rescue mutant; selfing is efficient at generating it but at the same time depletes the heterozygote, which can lead to a low mutant frequency in the standing genetic variation. Due to these (and other) antagonistic effects, we find a nontrivial dependence of population survival on the rate of sex/selfing, which is strongly influenced by the dominance coefficient of the mutation before and after the environmental change. Importantly, since mating with the wild-type breaks the mutant homozygote up, a slow decay of the wild-type population size can impede rescue in randomly mating populations.