Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















FLORA AND FAUNA
Humans speeding up evolution by causing extinction of 'younger' species
by Staff Writers
Vancouver, Canada (SPX) Feb 25, 2016


Two species of endangered stickleback fish went extinct in Enos Lake on Vancouver Island, Canada. Image courtesy Ernie Cooper. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Just three years after crayfish were introduced to a B.C. lake, two species of fish that had existed in the lake for thousands of years were suddenly extinct. But it's what took their place that has scientists fascinated.

New research from UBC shows that when humans speed up the usually slow process of evolution by introducing new species, it can result in a lasting impact on the ecosystem. The phenomenon is known as reverse speciation and researchers witnessed it in Enos Lake on Vancouver Island where two similar species of threespine stickleback fish disappeared within three years.

"When two similar species are in one environment, they often perform different ecological roles," said Seth Rudman, a PhD student in zoology at UBC. "When they go extinct, it has strong consequences for the ecosystem."

Two species of endangered threespine stickleback fish lived in the lake. One lived in the middle of the lake and ate mostly zooplankton while the other lived closer to the shore, eating insects that spent their larval stage in the water. In the mid-1990s, crayfish were introduced to the lake. Between 1994 and 1997, researchers documented how both species disappeared as a result of interbreeding, leaving only a hybrid species.

In this study, published recently in Current Biology, researchers document how the shift from two distinct species to one hybrid species has impacted the ecosystem. The new stickleback fish does not perform all of the functions as its predecessors. The hybrid spends more time near the shore of the lake and eats more large insects.

As a result, the number of small insects coming out of the lake has increased, showing how the changes in the lake can also cause changes to the terrestrial ecosystem. With the new hybrid, researchers have also found that the leaves that fall into the lake do not decompose as quickly.

Rudman and co-author Dolph Schluter, a professor in UBC's department of zoology, said this is just one example of reverse speciation and that it is becoming a more common phenomenon, particularly in environments that have been altered by humans. They also say Canada is at greater risk for these events because "young species" are prone to reverse speciation.

"Much of Canada's biodiversity, particularly fish in lakes and rivers, are considered to be 'young' species that formed in the last 12,000 years or so," said Rudman. "This type of evolution, known as reverse speciation, happens remarkably quickly and can cause alterations to the ecology of the ecosystem. It means we need to consider evolution in our conservation efforts."

The paper can be viewed here

.


Related Links
University of British Columbia
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
FLORA AND FAUNA
Monkey colony in Florida eats less human food than thought
San Diego (UPI) Feb 19, 2016
There may be fewer rhesus macaque monkeys in central Florida than previously thought, and far less of their diets is made up of food given to them by humans, according to a study in Silver Springs State Park. The monkeys, which have been spotted as far north as Jacksonville and as far south as Orlando, have alternately been considered a threat to humans and a popular attraction for both ... read more


FLORA AND FAUNA
More Austrian troops to deal with migrant inflow

Taiwan vows new safety laws after quake disaster

Contested waters in NATO's new Aegean migrant mission

Enabling human-robot rescue teams

FLORA AND FAUNA
New research introduces 'pause button' for boiling

Mystery of Dracula orchids' mimicry is unraveled with a 3-D printer

Shrinking 3-D technology for comfortable smart phone viewing

Modified laser cutter prints 3-D objects from powder

FLORA AND FAUNA
Sea level rise in 20th century was fastest in 3,000 years, Rutgers-led study finds

Barrier Reef at greater risk than thought: study

Researchers sequence seagrass genome, unlocking valuable resource

Dangerous fishing may be endangered

FLORA AND FAUNA
Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to CO2 than expected

Study of tundra soil demonstrates vulnerability of ecosystem to climate warming

Ice age blob of warm ocean water discovered south of Greenland

Ice sheet modeling of Greenland, Antarctica helps predict sea-level rise

FLORA AND FAUNA
Time of day can impact spray

60 years after pioneering survey, Wisconsin prairies are changing rapidly

Chinese buyer for Australia's largest dairy farm business

A new way track and stop human and agricultural viruses

FLORA AND FAUNA
Cyclone death toll hits 29 as Fiji eyes long clean-up

Christchurch commemorates devastating quake

Death toll rises as Fiji cleans up after 'strongest ever' cyclone

Moderate 5.9 magnitude quake hits NW Pakistan

FLORA AND FAUNA
Kenya army says it killed Shebab intelligence chief

Three soldiers get life for I.Coast military chief's murder

Saving the wildlife 'miracle' of Congo's Garamba park

In Congo, a war for Africa's elephants

FLORA AND FAUNA
Easter Island not destroyed by war, analysis of 'spear points' shows

Neanderthals and modern H. sapiens crossbred over 100,000 years ago

Neanderthals mated with modern humans much earlier than previously thought

Modern 'Indiana Jones' on mission to save antiquities




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights 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 Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.