Physicists model how traits move through populations

What happens when physicists play (using mathematical instruments) with the genetics of populations? They may discover unexpected connections between migration and biodiversity, for example, as recently done by a group of researchers from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste and the Polytechnic University in Turin in a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The effect of migration on biodiversity (intended as the coexistence of different genetic traits) is an open question: does migration increase or decrease the genetic variability of populations? Or is the relationship more complex than that?

“Our model, on the other hand, provided a very different result,” says Pierangelo Lombardo who worked on the study. “The function that relates the two variables is a curve, where with higher migration rates biodiversity can be seen to reach a minimum before starting to grow again.”

Read the full, original story: Technical Tests Of Biodiversity

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