Gene diversity and female philopatry

R. K. Chesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

224 Scopus citations


The effect of female philopatry on the apportionment of gene diversity within a population is evaluated. Even with random mate selection, the apportionment of gene diversity within and among social lineages (groups of related females) is inherently different than in classically defined demic groups. Considerable excess heterozygosity occurs within lineages without substantial changes in total or population heterozygosity. The proportion of genetic variance among lineages within the population was dependent on the lineage size and the number of male breeders per lineage. The greatest genetic differentiation among lineages was evident when there was one polygynous male breeding within a lineage of philopatric females, a common breeding tactic in mammalian social systems. The fixation indices depicting the genetic structure of the population were found to attain constant values after the first few generations despite the continuous loss of gene diversity within the population by genetic drift. Additionally, the change of gene correlations within individuals relative to the change within the population attains a state of dynamic equilibrium, as do the changes of gene correlations within lineages relative to the total and within individuals relative to within lineages. Comparisons of coancestries and fixation indices for philopatric versus randomly dispersing females indicate that philopatry and polygyny have probably not evolved independently and that promotion of gene correlations among adults rather than offspring has been of primary importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-447
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991


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