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Likelihood and Approximate Likelihood Analyses of Genetic Structure in a Linear Habitat: Performance and Robustness to Model Mis-Specification

Abstract : We evaluate the performance of maximum likelihood (ML) analysis of allele frequency data in a linear array of populations. The parameters are a mutation rate and either the dispersal rate in a stepping stone model or a dispersal rate and a scale parameter in a geometric dispersal model. An approximate procedure known as maximum product of approximate conditional (PAC) likelihood is found to perform as well as ML. Mis-specification biases may occur because the importance sampling algorithm is formally defined in term of mutation and migration rates scaled by the total size of the population, and this size may differ widely in the statistical model and in reality. As could be expected, ML generally performs well when the statistical model is correctly specified. Otherwise, mutation rate estimates are much closer to mutation probability scaled by number of demes in the statistical model than scaled by number of demes in reality when mutation probability is high and dispersal is most limited. This mis-specification bias actually has practical benefits. However, opposite results are found in opposite conditions. Migration rate estimates show roughly similar trends, but they may not always be easily interpreted as low-bias estimates of dispersal rate under any scaling. Estimation of the dispersal scale parameter is also affected by mis-specification of the number of demes, and the different biases compensate each other in such a way that good estimation of the so-called neighborhood size (or more precisely the product of population density and mean-squared parent–offspring dispersal distance) is achieved. Results congruent with these findings are found in an application to a damselfly data set.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02930285
Contributor : Raphael Leblois <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 4, 2020 - 12:12:15 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 5, 2021 - 3:51:29 AM

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F. Rousset, Raphaël Leblois. Likelihood and Approximate Likelihood Analyses of Genetic Structure in a Linear Habitat: Performance and Robustness to Model Mis-Specification. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2007, 24 (12), pp.2730-2745. ⟨10.1093/molbev/msm206⟩. ⟨hal-02930285⟩

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