Genetic population structure accounts for contemporary ecogeographic patterns in tropic and subtropic-dwelling humans

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    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Contemporary human populations conform to ecogeographic predictions that animals will become more compact in cooler climates and less compact in warmer ones. However, it remains unclear to what extent this pattern reflects plastic responses to current environments or genetic differences among populations. Analyzing anthropometric surveys of 232,684 children and adults from across 80 ethnolinguistic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas, we confirm that body surface-to-volume correlates with contemporary temperature at magnitudes found in more latitudinally diverse samples (Adj. R<sup>2</sup> = 0.14-0.28). However, far more variation in body surface-to-volume is attributable to genetic population structure (Adj. R<sup>2</sup> = 0.50-0.74). Moreover, genetic population structure accounts for nearly all of the observed relationship between contemporary temperature and body surface-to-volume among children and adults. Indeed, after controlling for population structure, contemporary temperature accounts for no more than 4% of the variance in body form in these groups. This effect of genetic affinity on body form is also independent of other ecological variables, such as dominant mode of subsistence and household wealth per capita. These findings suggest that the observed fit of human body surface-to-volume with current climate in this sample reflects relatively large effects of existing genetic population structure of contemporary humans compared to plastic response to current environments.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere0122301
    JournalPLoS One
    Volume10
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 27 2015

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    Tropics
    Genetic Structures
    subtropics
    tropics
    population structure
    Climate
    Plastics
    Population
    Temperature
    Africa South of the Sahara
    Body Temperature
    Human Body
    plastics
    climate
    temperature
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Animals
    coolers
    human population
    households

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • Medicine(all)

    Cite this

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    title = "Genetic population structure accounts for contemporary ecogeographic patterns in tropic and subtropic-dwelling humans",
    abstract = "Contemporary human populations conform to ecogeographic predictions that animals will become more compact in cooler climates and less compact in warmer ones. However, it remains unclear to what extent this pattern reflects plastic responses to current environments or genetic differences among populations. Analyzing anthropometric surveys of 232,684 children and adults from across 80 ethnolinguistic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas, we confirm that body surface-to-volume correlates with contemporary temperature at magnitudes found in more latitudinally diverse samples (Adj. R2 = 0.14-0.28). However, far more variation in body surface-to-volume is attributable to genetic population structure (Adj. R2 = 0.50-0.74). Moreover, genetic population structure accounts for nearly all of the observed relationship between contemporary temperature and body surface-to-volume among children and adults. Indeed, after controlling for population structure, contemporary temperature accounts for no more than 4{\%} of the variance in body form in these groups. This effect of genetic affinity on body form is also independent of other ecological variables, such as dominant mode of subsistence and household wealth per capita. These findings suggest that the observed fit of human body surface-to-volume with current climate in this sample reflects relatively large effects of existing genetic population structure of contemporary humans compared to plastic response to current environments.",
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    AU - Hadley, Craig

    AU - Slade, Alexandra

    AU - Stojanowski, Christopher

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