How range shifts induced by climate change affect neutral evolution

G. J. McInerny, J. R. G. Turner, H. Y. Wong, J. M. J. Travis, T. G. Benton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate neutral evolution during range shifts in a strategic model of a metapopulation occupying a climate gradient. Using heritable, neutral markers, we track the spatio-temporal fate of lineages. Owing to iterated founder effects ('mutation surfing'), survival of lineages derived from the leading range limit is enhanced. At trailing limits, where habitat suitability decreases, survival is reduced (mutations 'wipe out'). These processes alter (i) the spatial spread of mutations, (ii) origins of persisting mutations and (iii) the generation of diversity. We show that large changes in neutral evolution can be a direct consequence of range shifting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1534
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences
Issue number1661
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2009


  • climate change
  • spatial dynamics
  • gradient
  • mutation surfing
  • metapopulation
  • drift
  • species range
  • metapopulation dynamics
  • expanding populations
  • genetic diversity
  • wave-front
  • expansions
  • mutations
  • responses
  • consequences
  • dispersal


Dive into the research topics of 'How range shifts induced by climate change affect neutral evolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this