Coalescent Theory for Seed Bank Models

Ingemar Kaj, Stephen M. Krone, and Martin Lascoux


We study the genealogical structure of samples from a population for which any given generation is made up of direct descendents from several previous generations. These occur in nature when there are seed banks or egg banks allowing an individual to leave offspring several generations in the future. We show how this temporal structure in the reproduction mechanism causes a decrease in the coalescence rate. We also investigate the effects of age-dependent neutral mutations. Our main result gives weak convergence of the scaled ancestral process, with the usual diffusion scaling, to a coalescent process which is equivalent to a time-changed version of Kingman's coalescent.