HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Mute swan population helps explain longstanding evolutionary question

In an important new study forthcoming from The American Naturalist, biologists from the University of Oxford tracked a colony of mute swans for more than two decades to explore a longstanding evolutionary question: whether the number of eggs laid by a female bird known as "clutch size" changes in accordance with natural selection.

"Extensive debate in the literaturewas first focused on the question: Why does a population's average clutch size differ from the most productive clutch size?" said researcher Ann Charmantier. "Gradually the debate switched to an evolutionary point of view with a second, related question: Why is clutch size not evolving despite significant heritability and directional selection?"

Many long-term studies of avian clutch size have looked for--but not seen-- an increase in the number of eggs laid. However, this 25-year study of the selection, inheritance, and evolution in the mute swan population of Abbotsbury, England, yielded data on clutch size consistent with the direction predicted by evolutionary theory.

"In this study population, clutch size shows a clear response to selection, providing us with a clear illustration of microevolutionary process on a small timescale," explain the researchers.

The researchers hypothesize that a recent relaxation of food constraints and an increase in protection from predators may have helped enable the swans to evolve towards a new, larger clutch size.


'"/>

Contact: Suzanne Wu
swu@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
24-Jan-2006


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Census of Marine Life historians detail collapse of bluefin tuna population off northern Europe
2. Researchers track snakes to study populations, behavior
3. Gannet population under threat from global warming
4. Caribbean frog populations started with single, ancient voyage on South American raft
5. Viable tiger populations, tiger trade incompatible
6. Climate change could trigger boom and bust population cycles leading to extinction
7. Simulated populations used to probe gene mapping
8. Changing ocean conditions led to decline in Alaskas sea lion population
9. Remote sheep population resists genetic drift
10. Paper challenges 1491 Amazonian population theories
11. Individuals and populations differ in gene activity levels, not just genes

Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/22/2014)... UT Arlington computer science and engineering professor with an ... three-year National Science Foundation grant worth more than $600,000 ... the fruit fly., Heng Huang, an associate professor, will ... the UT Arlington Computer Science and Engineering department. Scientists ... because a large number of genes involved in fruit ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... be good for the average steak, but it seems ... to survive Alaska,s winter cold. , "Alaska wood frogs ... steak does in your freezer and the frog comes ... than the steak," said Don Larson, University of Alaska ... paper demonstrating that freeze tolerance in Alaska wood frogs ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... Researchers from the USC Schaeffer Center for Health ... governing antipsychotic drugs with increased incarceration rates for ... scrutiny over whether cutbacks in mental health actually ... account. , Some health plans require an extra ... ordered for patients. This step called prior ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):UT Arlington big data team wins $600,000 NSF grant to build gene expression database 2Alaska frogs reach record lows in extreme temperature survival 2Alaska frogs reach record lows in extreme temperature survival 3Are state Medicaid policies sentencing people with mental illnesses to prison? 2
(Date:7/23/2014)... , July 23, 2014 regulated information -- UCB ... and development pipeline with positive topline results from ... . This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy ... 200 mg/day, without titration) compared to placebo, as ... partial-onset seizures, not fully controlled despite treatment with ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... , July 23, 2014 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... leading provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic ... Limited ("Cordlife"), a multi-product healthcare company catering to the mother and ... in assisting patients across the PRC, Singapore , ... India , the Philippines ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... July 23, 2014 Adult stem ... therapies are biological, but not magical. However, ... to treat them as if they were magical. ... unsanctioned studies that constitute “stem cell tourism,” are ... approach to developing new regenerative medicine therapies. In ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... a phylum so full of mean little creatures, the yellow-colored ... cruelty -- at least to crickets. Native to the southeastern ... predatory sort of parasite. It swoops onto the back of ... leaves its wicked brood to invade, kill and consume the ... be possible without the fly,s ability to find a cricket ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Major advance in UCB pipeline: positive topline Phase 3 results for brivaracetam in epilepsy patients with partial-onset seizures 2Major advance in UCB pipeline: positive topline Phase 3 results for brivaracetam in epilepsy patients with partial-onset seizures 3Major advance in UCB pipeline: positive topline Phase 3 results for brivaracetam in epilepsy patients with partial-onset seizures 4Major advance in UCB pipeline: positive topline Phase 3 results for brivaracetam in epilepsy patients with partial-onset seizures 5Major advance in UCB pipeline: positive topline Phase 3 results for brivaracetam in epilepsy patients with partial-onset seizures 6Major advance in UCB pipeline: positive topline Phase 3 results for brivaracetam in epilepsy patients with partial-onset seizures 7China Cord Blood Corporation and Cordlife Group Limited Announce Collaboration to Aid Asia-based Patients with Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy 2China Cord Blood Corporation and Cordlife Group Limited Announce Collaboration to Aid Asia-based Patients with Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy 3China Cord Blood Corporation and Cordlife Group Limited Announce Collaboration to Aid Asia-based Patients with Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy 4The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Continues to Develop Technologies for Homologous Adult Stem Cell Therapies and Drug Development 2The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Continues to Develop Technologies for Homologous Adult Stem Cell Therapies and Drug Development 3The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Continues to Develop Technologies for Homologous Adult Stem Cell Therapies and Drug Development 4The Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC Continues to Develop Technologies for Homologous Adult Stem Cell Therapies and Drug Development 5Fly-inspired sound detector 2Fly-inspired sound detector 3Fly-inspired sound detector 4
Cached News: