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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/30/2017)... 30, 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations ... of face and eye tracking software, became the ... program. "Artificial intelligence and advanced ... monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the ... to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups ... collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built with ... France is one of the ... percent increase in the number of startups created between 2012 ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), ... and identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate ... May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... Trade Center. Identity impacts the lives ... today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... United States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the ... of identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North ... the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based Advanced Space Technology and ... ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs is a technology development ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., a data ... titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. Nicolas Cacciabeve, ... and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in diagnostic confidence.* ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A ... pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer ... age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: