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Metapop: An individual‐based model for simulating the evolution of tree populations in spatially and temporally heterogeneous landscapes

Soularue, Jean‐Paul, Thöni, Armel, Arnoux, Léo, Le Corre, Valérie, Kremer, Antoine
Molecular ecology resources 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 296-305
assortative mating, computer simulation, evolution, genes, genotype, hermaphroditism, landscapes, models, monoecy, phenotype, phenotypic plasticity, quantitative trait loci, statistics, trees
Metapop is a stochastic individual‐based simulation program. It uses quantitative genetics theory to produce an explicit description of the typical life cycle of monoecious and hermaphroditic plant species. Genome structure, the relationship between genotype and phenotype, and the effects of landscape heterogeneity on each individual can be finely parameterized by the user. Unlike most existing simulation packages, Metapop can simulate phenotypic plasticity, which may have a genetic component, and assortative mating, two important features of tree species. Each simulation is parameterized through text files, and raw data are generated recurrently, describing the allelic state of each quantitative trait locus involved in phenotypic variability. The data can be generated in Genepop or Fstat format, and may thus be analysed with other existing packages. Metapop also automatically computes a range of populations statistics, enabling the user to monitor evolutionary dynamics directly, from gene to metapopulation level.