Monte Carlo Simulation: The Effects of Migration on Some Measures of Genetic Distance

  • Jean W. MacCluer


Genetic distances, and the genetic networks derived from them, have been used to reconstruct probable relationships among human populations and to trace their descent from some common ancestral group. But, if gene frequency data are to be used as a means of deducing the relatedness of populations, then one needs information on the effects of mating practices, nonrandom migration, and age-dependent fertility and mortality on genetic differentiation. For most human populations which are suitable for genetic study, the necessary data on population history, in particular on population numbers and on rates of birth, death, and migration through time, are unavailable. Equally troublesome is the inadequacy of data on genetic differences in fertility, mortality, and nuptiality, and the uncertainty as to the possible influence of such selection on genetic differentiation. In short, very little is known about the expected behavior of genetic distances under various genetic and demographic conditions. We would seem to be in the awkward position of trying to investigate the factors which influence distance measures by studying human populations, and also trying to study the relatedness of these populations by computing distance measures.


Monte CARLO Simulation Genetic Distance Genetic Differentiation Migration Rate Model Life Table 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean W. MacCluer
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Biology and AnthropologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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