HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Silvereye birds help scientists to settle disputed evolutionary theory

A study of birds on Pacific islands shows conclusively that the formation of new species is a gradual and not a sudden process, according to biologists from the UK, France, Australia and the USA writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today (28 May issue).

The 'founder effect' theory, a controversial idea among biologists, says that speciation occurs suddenly due to a small influx of colonists founding new populations, in the process creating many new gene combinations and losing many others, in what is known as a 'genetic revolution'.

But according to the team's new evidence from fieldwork and computer modelling, the theory doesn't apply to island birds, and the way in which populations change their genetic diversity is a result of successive colonisation events and long-term genetic drift.

"Our results indicate that speciation in island birds occurs gradually, not suddenly as a result of island colonisation through founder effects," said Dr Sonya Clegg of Imperial College London.

In order to carry out the work, Dr Clegg and her collaborators visited a series of islands through the south west Pacific.

Dr Clegg said: "The result is exciting because this is the first time the theory has been tested using natural populations. Previous tests have used artificially introduced ones, which don't tell you much about how real biodiversity evolves. It's obvious that genetic changes can occur if a single pair of individuals founds a population, but the question is whether that really happens. Our results suggest that it doesn't."

The scientists tested the founder effect model in an unusual island bird species, the Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), which has colonised a series of islands in the south west Pacific from the Australian mainland during the last 200 years.

The Silvereye's pattern of colonisation there was originally used to support the founder effect model, first proposed by Ernst Mayr
'"/>

Contact: Tom Miller
t.miller@ic.ac.uk
44-20-7594-6704
Imperial College London
27-May-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Parasitic cowbirds thrive with a less ruthless strategy than cuckoos
2. A changing landscape may have dire implications for birds
3. Songbirds escaped from Australasia, conquered rest of world
4. Sleepless over Seattle: Migrating songbirds forgo sleep but keep their wits
5. UW study: Migrating birds offer insight into sleep
6. Chemical reaction in birds provides sense of direction during migratory flights
7. Worlds oldest modern hummingbirds described in Science
8. Global warming may cause songbirds to avoid certain foods
9. Wright State biologist studies birds to learn how our stomachs convey thoughts of hunger
10. Snowbirds versus real birds
11. Researchers find new form of hormone that helps songbirds reproduce

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/3/2018)... FALLS CHURCH, Va. (PRWEB) , ... November 01, ... ... Quality: , New Regulations, New Guidance, New Challenges and New Opportunities, **Presented by ... http://www.fdanews.com/trendsmdregquality , Early bird pricing for Emerging Trends ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... , ... November 01, 2018 , ... Dr. Bryan Choi, ... General Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, has been awarded the 2018 xCELLigence Immunotherapy ... Nobel Prize Committee for Medicine, is a promising form of treatment designed to harness ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... 01, 2018 , ... Endodontics is a specialty within the ... dental pulp and periradicular tissues. Recent technological advancements have led to several new ... decade, non-destructive, high-resolution micro-CT 3D imaging has become the most important tool for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/13/2018)... ... November 13, 2018 , ... Sharon ... Life Science® in Grants Pass, Oregon believes in the power of talk radio ... Water Life Science® sponsors the Power of Water® on talk radio every week ...
(Date:11/9/2018)... JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... November 08, 2018 ... ... companies in the United States, adopted a machine-learning powered approach to increasing recovery ... was centered around an Artificially Intelligent Collections (AIC) product developed by NLP Logix, ...
(Date:11/7/2018)... ... ... Diversified Technologies, Inc. (DTI) has installed a PEF (Pulsed Electric ... and Innovation at ASU. Funded by a USDA NIFA SBIR, the purpose of the ... predator control applications. , Algae ponds get up to 50% consumed by predators and ...
(Date:11/5/2018)... ... November 05, 2018 , ... USARAD Holdings ... Siemens Healthineers and several healthcare VC firms announces at Distributed Health 2018 conference ... history by purchasing tokens and obtaining its first radiology interpretations, one of the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: