Motoo Kimura recognized that the random birth and death of genetic lineages creates characteristic patterns of diversity, and that these can be easily confused with selection. These neutral patterns rely on just two parameters — the rate at which new lineages are born (μ) and the rate at which lineages are lost through sampling drift (the effective population size N).
Although this model was originally conceived in the context of genetic data, it was soon found to apply much more widely — from the distribution of species in forests to the distribution of baby names.
Explore how innovation and drift create neutral patterns of diversity in a range of situations, including genes, baby names and tree species.
The input data are:
Haplotype diversity generated by a neutral drift simulation, with μ = 0.01 and N = 2000.
Y chromosome diversity in the village of Kateri on Timor. The parameters are the mutation rate and population size to model genetic data.
Frequencies of 100 random female baby names in the USA in 2015. The innovation and drift parameters are name creation and population size.
Species diversity in Bukit Timah, Singapore. Speciation and species invasions generate local diversity and the drift parameter is metacommunity size.