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I am confused as to how to compute the effective population size $N_e$ of a theoretical structured population. Let's consider here a simple case study.

Imagine a 2-deme metapopulation. Each deme is of constant size $N$ with a (forward and backward) migration rate $m$. Mating is random within each deme.

What is the effective population size of such population? In other words, how fast does the population loses heterozygosity through time?

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  • $\begingroup$ this book looks useful - see page 109 (there is restricted access) books.google.se/… $\endgroup$ – rg255 Jun 13 '16 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ There is no single effective population size when there is population structure. Suppose structure is strong, $Nm \ll 1$. If you start with very high heterozygosity, it will first decay at a rate close to $1/N$, then more slowly at a rate close to $m$ after the diversity within each deme has been lost. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Weissman Jul 5 '16 at 17:09

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