Category Archives: adaptation

Adaptive divergence in the monkey flower

Theory suggests adaptive divergence can proceed in the face of gene flow when adaptive alleles occur in areas of the genome, such as chromosomal inversions, that are protected from recombination, which can break up beneficial allele pairings. In their recent Evolution paper, … Continue reading

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Plastic and evolved responses to host fruit in apple maggot flies

The apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, is a prominent system for the study of sympatric speciation. Sister taxa in the R. pomonella species complex, the apple-infesting race of R. pomonella and the snowberry-infesting R. zephyria, have sympatric distributions and the fruiting time of their preferred hosts widely overlaps. … Continue reading

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d(N)eutralist < d(S)electionist Part 4

Continuing our discussion of the neutralist-selectionist debate, recent findings by Schrider et al. (2015) bring us to the topic of selective sweeps, and their genomic signatures in a population. As we have discussed in previous posts, numerous studies (since the … Continue reading

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How (not) to review papers on inclusive fitness

There are few evolutionary concepts as polarizing as Hamilton’s rule. Some researchers feel that there is no mathematical grounding for it, while others beg to differ. Yet empirical evidence in support of Hamilton’s rule is scarce (but check out this … Continue reading

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l’oliva di mare: disturbance and genetic diversity

Seagrasses are important ecosystem-engineers of coastal regions around the world. Previous work has demonstrated the correlation of high genotypic diversity with resistance (e.g., Hughes and Stachowicz 2004) and resilience (e.g., Reusch et al. 2005). In a recently accepted paper in Molecular Ecology, Jahnke, … Continue reading

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dN(eutralist) = dS(electionist) Part 3

In a previous post, I discussed the phenomenon of background selection, which results in rapid expungement of neutral alleles linked to loci under purifying or negative selection, and conversely, the rapid fixation of neutral variants that are linked to loci of … Continue reading

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Mating systems

In a new paper, published online in Molecular Ecology, Pannell (2015) reviews the literature on the evolution of mating systems and dispersal in colonizing species as component of a special issue called Invasion Genetics: The Baker and Stebbins Legacy.  This issue is … Continue reading

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Sometimes selection gives you more bang for your buck

Most species experience many environmental stressors simultaneously which means the direction and magnitude of evolutionary responses will depend on trade-offs between traits whose relationship may prevent them from being simultaneously optimized. Multiple sources of stress may act in opposing ways, for … Continue reading

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Bigger on the inside

Evolutionary biology is, fundamentally, the study of how populations of living things change over time. Different creatures live different lives, and at any given point in time they seem to do so relatively well, which poses a question: how do … Continue reading

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Coral conservation through assisted evolution

Coral reefs occupy a tiny portion of the world’s oceans (see map below) but their biodiversity is hugely disproportionate to their size. More than 450 million people from 109 countries live in close proximity to coral reefs and depend upon the … Continue reading

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