Method box Are allele frequencies random or clumped in two dimensions

How can genetic variation in space be described to look for evidence of isolation by distance or other processes that cause spatial genetic differentiation in populations? The general approach is to compare pairs of individuals or populations, looking at both the similarity of their genotypes and how far apart they are located. Isolation by distance is a form of inbreeding due to non-random mating, so it causes individuals that are located near to each other to be more related on average.

One classic statistic used to estimate spatial genetic structure is a correlation measure called Moran's I:

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