We study victim–exploiter coevolution in a spatially heterogeneous island model. In each species, fitness consequences of between-species interactions are controlled by a single haploid diallelic locus. Our emphasis is on the conditions for the maintenance of genetic variation, the dynamic patterns observed, the extent of local adaptation and genetic differentiation between different demes, and on how different parameters (such as the strength and heterogeneity in selection, migration rates, and the number of sites) affect the dynamic and static behavior of the system. We show that under spatially homogeneous selection the maintenance of genetic variation is possible through asynchronous nonlinear dynamics where the allele frequencies in a majority of demes quickly synchronize but the rest do not. Spatially heterogeneous selection can maintain genetic variation even if migration rates are maximal. This happens in an oscillatory way. Genetic variation is most likely to be maintained at high levels if the heterogeneity in selection is large. If there are some restrictions on migration, genetic variation can be maintained at a stable equilibrium. This behavior is most likely at intermediate migration rates. In this case, the system can exhibit high spatial subdivision as measured by FST values but relatively low local adaptation.
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