Founder takes all

In this GIF, the different colours represent different genotypes in a metapopulation. Following a disturbance that destroys some of the populations, the first lineages to move into the disturbed area are able to establish and multiply to monopolize space. Later-arriving lineages can be 'blocked' by the newly established populations.

The founder takes all (FTA) hypothesis refers to the evolutionary advantages conferred to first-arriving lineages in an ecosystem.[1]

The FTA model is underpinned by demographic and ecological phenomena and processes such as the Allee effect, ‘gene surfing’,[2] ‘high-density blocking’[3] and ‘priority effects[4]—whereby early-colonising lineages can reach high densities and thus hinder the success of late-arriving colonisers—which have been suggested to strongly influence spatial biodiversity patterns.

Scientific evidence for FTA processes has emerged from a variety of evolutionary, biogeographic and ecological research areas, with examples including the sectoring patterns sometimes evident in microbial colonies;[5] phylogeographic sectoring of lineages inferred to have rapidly expanded into new terrain following deglaciation;[6][7] the island ‘progression rule’;[8] and sudden biological replacement (lineage turnover) following extirpation.[9]

One possible scientific consequence of FTA dynamics is that measures of gene flow based on genetics of contemporary high-density populations may underestimate actual rates of dispersal and invasion potential.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Waters JM, Fraser CI, Hewitt GM (2013). "Founder takes all: density-dependent processes structure biodiversity". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 28: 78–85. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2012.08.024. PMID 23000431.
  2. ^ Excoffier, L.; Ray, N. (2008). "Surfing during population expansions promotes genetic revolutions and structuration". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 23: 347–351. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2008.04.004.
  3. ^ Ibrahim, K.M.; et al. (1996). "Spatial patterns of genetic variation generated by different forms of dispersal during range expansion". Heredity. 77: 282–291. doi:10.1038/hdy.1996.142.
  4. ^ De Meester L, Gomez A, Okamura B, Schwenk K (2002). "The Monopolization Hypothesis and the dispersal-gene flow paradox in aquatic organisms". Acta Oecologica-International Journal of Ecology. 23: 121–135. doi:10.1016/S1146-609X(02)01145-1.
  5. ^ Hallatschek, O.; et al. (2007). "Genetic drift at expanding frontiers promotes gene segregation". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104: 19926–19930. arXiv:0812.2345. doi:10.1073/pnas.0710150104.
  6. ^ Hewitt, G. (2000). "The genetic legacy of the Quaternary ice ages". Nature. 405: 907–913. doi:10.1038/35016000. PMID 10879524.
  7. ^ Fraser CI, Nikula R, Spencer HG, Waters JM (2009). "Kelp genes reveal effects of subantarctic sea ice during the Last Glacial Maximum". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106: 3249–3253. doi:10.1073/pnas.0810635106. PMC 2651250. PMID 19204277.
  8. ^ Shaw; Gillespie (2016). "Comparative phylogeography of oceanic archipelagos: hotspots for inferences of evolutionary processes". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113: 7986. doi:10.1073/pnas.1601078113. PMC 4961166. PMID 27432948.
  9. ^ Collins CJ, Rawlence NJ, Prost S, et al. (2014). "Extinction and recolonization of coastal megafauna following human arrival in New Zealand". Proceedings of the Royal Society. 281: 20140097. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0097.
  10. ^ Fraser CI, Banks SC, Waters JM (2015). "Priority effects can lead to underestimation of dispersal and invasion potential". Biological Invasions. 17: 1–8. doi:10.1007/s10530-014-0714-1.