To further elucidate the relationship between geography and genetics in Ireland, we considered variation in anthropometric traits of adult males by town using spatial autocorrelation methods. By describing and distinguishing significant patterns of anthropometric variation, we determined whether the anthropometric traits display a simple pattern of spatial variation, as predicted by the isolation by distance model, or other patterns of spatial variation. Several hypotheses were examined, including (1) whether there was spatial patterning of 20 anthropometric phenotypic distributions and 7 principal components of Irish males and (2) if there was, whether these phenotypic distributions could be explained by a simple isolation by distance model. The results of this study can be summarized by several key findings: (1) There is significant spatial patterning among towns, as detected in correlograms of 14 anthropometric traits and 2 principal component factor scores (values of Moran’s I ranging from 0.7510 to —0.3616, p ^ 0.0071); (2) 4 spatial patterns were detected, including clinal patterns, long-distance differentiation, distance distinction, and regional patchiness. These results suggest several likely causes of the observed spatial patterns. First, in Ireland patterns of anthropometric variation could not be explained by a single spatial pattern (i.e., isolation by distance). Second, through an examination of the various combinations of statistical homogeneity or heterogeneity, spatial patterning or nonpatterning, and similarity or dissimilarity of spatial patterns, we conclude that several migrational events structured the genetic landscape of Ireland.
North, Kari E.; Crawford, Michael H.; and Relethford, John H.
"Spatial Variation of Anthropometric Traits in Ireland,"
5, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol71/iss5/7