Mechanisms and tests for geographic clines in genetic polymorphisms

Yuma Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A continuous spatial gradient in visible traits, which is called a cline, is a natural model system for quantifying the effects of selection and stochastic factors and their relative importance. Geographic clines in phenotypic traits also provide key insights into the evolutionary forces that lead to allopatric speciation in nature. Thus, the underlying mechanisms for establishing clines and their evolutionary consequences remain key topics in evolutionary biology. However, few experimental studies have confirmed the underlying mechanisms of geographic clines in morph/allele frequencies, probably because of the lack of understanding of the theoretical basis of geographic clines in polymorphisms and/or suitable comprehensive tests. Thus, I present a general review of the underlying mechanisms for establishing geographic clines in polymorphisms. I also provide a case study using the female dimorphic damselfly Ischnura senegalensis to illustrate a strategy that confirms the underlying mechanisms of geographic clines in morph frequencies. This review may help to address geographic clines in other polymorphic systems, as well as contribute to a comprehensive understanding of geographic clines in quantitative traits, and thus, their evolutionary consequences in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalPopulation Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 27


  • Balancing selection
  • Damselfly
  • Gene flow
  • Ischnura senegalensis
  • Morph frequency
  • Qualitative traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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