Why does the genetic nearly-null subspace exist? (2015–2019)
The ability of organisms to evolve in response to human disturbance, translocation to new environments, or
climate change is governed by the availability of genetic variation. Recent advances in multivariate genetic
analysis have demonstrated that a substantial proportion of the phenotype described by quantitative traits
has very little genetic variance associated with it, and will therefore tend to be subject to evolutionary limits.
Here, a set of experiments is proposed to determine why nearly-null genetic subspaces exist by
simultaneously measuring the input of new mutational variance in these nearly-null subspaces, and the
selection that acts on these new mutations to result in the observed low levels of standing genetic variance.