Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New appreciation of the ecology-evolution dynamic

Date:
January 31, 2011
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
Ecology drives evolution. Scientists now describe a growing evidence that the reverse is also true, and explores what that might mean to our understanding of how environmental change affects species and vice-versa.

Ecology drives evolution. Experts now describe growing evidence that the reverse is also true, and explores what that might mean to our understanding of how environmental change affects species and vice-versa.
Credit: Copyright Michele Hogan

Ecology drives evolution. In the Jan 28 issue of the journal Science, UC Davis expert Thomas Schoener describes growing evidence that the reverse is also true, and explores what that might mean to our understanding of how environmental change affects species and vice-versa.

Related Articles


A classic example of ecology influencing evolution is seen in a Galαpagos ground finch, Geospiza fortis. In this species, larger beaks dominated the population after dry years when large seeds were more abundant. After wet years, the direction of natural selection reversed, favoring smaller beaks that better handled the small seeds produced in the wet environment.

Environmental factors had given birds with certain genes a survival advantage.

But does evolution affect ecology over similar time scales? Scientists are increasingly thinking that the answer is yes, says Schoener, who points toward numerous examples of organisms evolving rapidly. This sets the stage for the possibility that evolutionary dynamics routinely interact with ecological dynamics.

Schoener writes: "If ecology affects evolution (long supported) and evolution affects ecology (becoming increasingly supported), then what? The transformed ecology might affect evolution, and so on, back and forth in a feedback loop."

Still to be discovered in this emerging field of "eco-evolutionary dynamics," he concludes, is just how much evolutionary changes substantially affect ecological traits such as species populations and community structure. Schoener calls for a major research effort to find out.

The study was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.

In an unusual occurrence, Schoener is a co-author of a second paper in the same issue of Science. His former doctoral student, Jonah Piovia-Scott, is that paper's lead author.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. W. Schoener. The Newest Synthesis: Understanding the Interplay of Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics. Science, 2011; 331 (6016): 426 DOI: 10.1126/science.1193954

Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "New appreciation of the ecology-evolution dynamic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110129081543.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2011, January 31). New appreciation of the ecology-evolution dynamic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110129081543.htm
University of California - Davis. "New appreciation of the ecology-evolution dynamic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110129081543.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins