Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Evolution Can Occur Quickly Change Population Interaction

illustration only
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jul 17, 2006
Biologists generally accept that evolutionary change can take from decades to millennia, while ecological change can occur over mere days or seasons. However, a new Cornell study shows that evolution and ecology can operate on the same time scale.

When evolution occurs so quickly, the researchers conclude, it can change how populations of various species interact. Ecologists need to consider such evolutionary dynamics in their studies because evolution could affect populations being studied.

This insight is critical to predicting the recovery time needed for threatened populations or for predicting disease dynamics, says Justin Meyer '04, who conducted the study as an undergraduate student with Cornell ecologists Stephen Ellner, Nelson Hairston and colleagues.

To observe ecological and evolutionary changes together, the researchers monitored the ecological fluctuations in a model predator-prey laboratory system: a microscopic organism called a rotifer that eats a single-celled algae.

Meyer developed a method to track genetic changes, and the researchers found that as the prey population fluctuated, the algae "evolved" from a type that grows quickly to a type that resists being eaten. The frequency of the algal-genotype changes in response to rotifer population flux clearly demonstrated the synchronicity of ecological and evolutionary time.

The study is published in the July 11 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related Links
Darwin Today At

Researchers Enlist Proteins To Switch On Heart Tissue Repair System
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jul 17, 2006
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine are utilizing a protein to "switch on" the ability to repair damaged heart tissue. By triggering the cell-cycle signal, researchers can manipulate cells in animal models to regenerate damaged heart tissue.

  • Applied Global Technologies And SkyPort International Announce Strategic Partnership
  • Why Nobody Stopped Katrina Mercy Killing Is Unclear
  • Half Of Pacific Islands Mangroves Could Disappear Says UN
  • China's Vice Premier Calls For Flood Prevention

  • NASA Explains Puzzling Impact Of Polluted Skies On Climate
  • Centuries Of Land-Use Practices Profoundly Impact Earth System
  • Slab May Fall From Eiger Any Day
  • Jellyfish-Like Creatures May Play Major Role In Fate Of Oceanic CO2

  • DMCii Wins European Commission Contract For Agricultural Monitoring
  • Cardiff From Earth Space
  • Denver To Host International Remote Sensing Conference
  • Satellite Security Systems Wins 10 Year Air Quality Contract At Los Angeles Port

  • Greenland Begins Sale Of Oil Concessions
  • Self-Cooling Soda Bottles Could Sell Billions
  • Greenland Makes Oil Companies Melt
  • Canada To Defend Its Oil And Uranium Exports At G8 Talks

  • Avian Flu Numbers Increase Across SE Asia
  • Scientists Develop SARS Vaccine
  • China Clamps Down On Flu Talk
  • Satellite Systems To Warn Of Health Threats

  • Evolution Can Occur Quickly Change Population Interaction
  • Researchers Enlist Proteins To Switch On Heart Tissue Repair System
  • Molecular DNA Switch Found To Be The Same For All Life
  • The Age Distribution Of The Non-Avian Dinosaur Population

  • Too Little Data Available to Assess Risk of Sludge
  • Pharmaceuticals May Not Pose Major Aquatic Environmental Risks
  • 100 Million-Dollar ADB China Loan To Clean Up Wuhan Waterways
  • Hong Kong Leader Seeks Public Help In Clearing Up Pollution

  • Trade Of Humans Is Big Business
  • Talk To Your Baby And They Learn To Speak
  • Same Genes Act Differently In Males And Females
  • Composer Reveals Musical Chords' Hidden Geometry

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement