Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 251–269

The effects of the mating system on the evolution of migration in a spatially heterogeneous population

  • Pamela Wiener
  • Marcus W. Feldman


Verbal explanations for the evolution of migration and dispersal often invoke inbreeding depression as an important force. Experimental work on plant populations indicates that while inbreeding depression may favor increased migration rates, adaptation to local environments may reduce the advantage to migrants. We formalize and test this hypothesis using a two-locus genetic model that incorporates lowered fitness in offspring produced by self-fertilization, and habitat differentiation. We also use the model to address questions about the general theory of genetic modifiers and the modifier reduction principle. We find that even under conditions when migration would increase the mean fitness of a population, migration may not be favored. This result is due to the associations that develop between genotypes at a locus subject to overdominant selection and at a neutral locus controlling the migration rate. Thus, it appears that, in this model, the forces of local adaptation, which favor a reduction in the migration rate, overwhelm those of inbreeding depression, which may favor dispersal.


evolution of dispersal self-fertilization mating systems migration 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Wiener
    • 1
  • Marcus W. Feldman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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