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:7/27/2014)... might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them ... later in history, scientists say. , A fresh study ... helped palaeontologists to build a new narrative of the ... They found that in the few million years before ... was experiencing environmental upheaval. This included extensive volcanic activity, ...
(Date:7/27/2014)... have shown the potential for global climate change to ... most part, ignored the interactions between increasing temperature and ... to damage crops. , A new study involving researchers ... significant, suggesting that policymakers need to take both warming ... , The study looked in detail at global production ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by ... that trees are saving more than 850 human lives ... symptoms. , While trees, pollution removal equated to an ... the impacts of that improvement are substantial. Researchers valued ... at nearly $7 billion every year in a study ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events, study shows 2Study: Climate change and air pollution will combine to curb food supplies 2Study: Climate change and air pollution will combine to curb food supplies 3First national study finds trees saving lives, reducing respiratory problems 2
(Date:7/28/2014)... new method of building materials using light, developed by ... enable technologies that are often considered the realm of ... , Although cloaked starships won,t be a reality ... developed for constructing materials with building blocks a few ... control the way that light flies through them, and ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... July 28, 2014 “2014 ... Lubricant Industry” is a professional and in-depth ... market. The report introduces Lubricant basic information, ... chain structure and industry overview. This research ... domestic market as well as global industry ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. ... covers the designing and engineering of completely new biological ... of natural biological systems that provide improved and desirable ... extreme genetic engineering because it not only alters existing ...
(Date:7/28/2014)...  David Hardison, Ph.D., vice president of health ... been elected chairman of the board for the ... to establish common protocols around the use of ... electronic health records. Hardison will ... organizations across the research and health care arena ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Building 'invisible' materials with light 2Lubricant Market & Adhesion Promoter Industry (Globa, China) Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 2Lubricant Market & Adhesion Promoter Industry (Globa, China) Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 3Lubricant Market & Adhesion Promoter Industry (Globa, China) Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 4Global Synthetic Biology Market 2014-2018 2ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte's David Hardison Named Chairman of the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium 2ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte's David Hardison Named Chairman of the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium 3
Cached News: