A new appreciation of the ecology-evolution dynamic

Jan 28, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Ecology drives evolution. In today's 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.

A classic example of influencing is seen in a Galápagos 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, titled "The Newest Synthesis: Understanding the Interplay of Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics," 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.

Explore further: How hummingbirds evolved to detect sweetness

Provided by University of California - Davis

5 /5 (6 votes)

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210
3 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2011
Again: and Indeed:
Ecology made the egg or the Evolution made the chicken..or...was it vice versa.
ADAPTIVE Evolution looks realer everyday.
The old way of describing Evolution as the reason, rhyme and why of all life...lacking an evident and identifiable blueprint of some kind is fast fading and so far NOT sustained.
All LIFE and all LIVING planets, like our earth EVOLVE and ADAPT (Global warming presently and historically)!
And, we still need more 'bones' in the evolutionary skeleton.
nuff said
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (5) Jan 31, 2011
Looks like they're talking about how organisms adapt to their environments - using the all-encompassing word "evolution".

So since there is adaptation, therefore evolution is true - meaning that indeed all existing organisms descended from one single ancestor.

This is otherwise known as double speak, or more precisely equivocation - saying one thing and inclusively meaning something else. The authors haven't done it explicitly so I'm just mentioning it because some people will jump to that conclusion.
Terrible_Bohr
5 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2011
Evolution has always been the process of the adaptation of species to their environments'. This is nothing new, and not the specific focus of the paper. You are making up this seperation between adaptation and evolution all by yourself.
Jimee
not rated yet Jan 31, 2011
As though the processes underway aren't evidence enough!
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Feb 02, 2011
organisms adapt to their environments - using the all-encompassing word "evolution"
Inheritable adaptations are evolution.
So since there is adaptation, therefore evolution is true
Yes.
all existing organisms descended from one single ancestor.
Maybe. Odds are yes, since the first organism uses up the resources that any new organisms would need to reproduce.
This is otherwise known as double speak
No but that is. Evolution produces changes in all species and those species are part of the environment and thus you have a feedback loop.
saying one thing and inclusively meaning something else.
I think that is your guilty conscience speaking. The article straight forward. YOU are the one that is pretending to see scientific problems when the only problem you have is a religious one.
The authors haven't done it explicitly so I'm just mentioning
They didn't do it at all and that was a duplicitous statement on your part.

Kevin, when was the Flood?

Ethelred
Ethelred
not rated yet Feb 02, 2011
ADAPTIVE Evolution looks realer everyday.
Much of evolution is adaptive. Some is not due to things like founder effect. You really should actually learn something about evolution.

Ethelred
210
1.5 / 5 (2) Feb 03, 2011
ADAPTIVE Evolution looks realer everyday.
Much of evolution is adaptive. Some is not due to things like founder effect. You really should actually learn something about evolution.

Ethelred


Indeed: Which part IS NOT adaptive..if only "much of it" is???? Founder effect? The definition of founder effect has these words in it:
" In extreme cases, the founder effect is thought to lead to the speciation and subsequent evolution of new species." Hummm...'in extreme cases'...and 'thought'...sounds like a theory to me - Wikipedia

Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Feb 04, 2011
Which part IS NOT adaptive..
I said already that the founder effect is not a matter of adaptation. That is because it is a matter of who are the founders of a isolated gene pool.
f only "much of it" is????
The much part is where the adaptation is going on.
sounds like a theory to me -
I seem to recall that you are some sort of Creationist but it looks that you are trying to go the stealth route on this thread, so I don't expect you to even want to understand but on the off chance I am wrong.

There are no laws in science EXCEPT when you DON'T understand what is going on. Theories are models of how things work. When Kepler knew that Brahe's measurements showed that planets have elliptical orbits he created three LAWS that defined what was happening but there was no idea of WHY it happened. Newton came up with a THEORY that modeled why things were happening both on Earth and in the Solar System.

More
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Feb 04, 2011
Theories explain facts. They are NOT wild assed guesses that don't fit reality. If they don't fit then they aren't theories. They are fairy stories. Such as the idea of the world being created a mere 10,000 years ago. That is a fairy story since it does NOT fit the evidence.

Founder effects have been observed many times. It can be seen in human populations in the Pacific and in insular groups such as the excess number of people with excess fingers and toes in the Amish. It has been documented in a number of places where the populations were devastated for one reason or another.

Speciation is real. There simply nothing to stop it from happening given enough time and there has been a LOT of time.

Ethelred
210
1 / 5 (3) Feb 06, 2011
[- I seem to recall that you are some sort of Creationist but it looks that you are trying to go the stealth route on this thread, so I don't expect you to even want to understand but on the off chance I am wrong.

You seem to recall...? Oh golly I have 'roadies'!!! You're one of my fans...how nice :-) So, why didn't you just say so Did you get the last memo on the change in the secret handshake? Just look at you all dressed up in your clown suit cheering me on...you ARE a cute one.. aren't you. Have a beer on the house and keep smiling.
Ethelred
not rated yet Feb 06, 2011
Oh golly I have 'roadies'!!!
I don't work for you. I think you meant Groupies and that is flattering yourself in a thoroughly egregious manner.
You're one of my fans...how nice :-)
How delusional.
Just look at you all dressed up in your clown suit cheering me on...you ARE a cute one.. aren't you.
You really should lay off the hallucinogens.
Have a beer on the house and keep smiling.
How about you try supporting your nonsense instead of passing out nonexistent beer to nonexistent groupies.

However I thank you for that clear admission of being a Creationist. So it is no surprise that you should have other delusions as well.

Ethelred
breadhead
1 / 5 (2) Feb 07, 2011
If the article is speaking of variations in a kind then microevolution may fit the bill. Do the birds become fish, or some other animal, a resounding no.
Not suprised that no body here would think differently. Hello Ethelred.
ormondotvos
5 / 5 (1) Feb 07, 2011
Keep up the good work, Ethelred!
Ethelred
not rated yet Feb 08, 2011
If the article is speaking of variations in a kind then microevolution may fit the bill.
Microevolution is evolution over short time periods and really isn't what the article is about. It is about something that I have thought was obvious for decades. Species have niches they live in. They evolve to fit those niches and as the environment changes the niche usually changes. The environment includes the organisms living in the area. If the organisms evolve then the environment changes. This is feedback cycle and it HAS to be occurring unless there is something actively stopping evolution.
Do the birds become fish
No but some birds do live in the water most of the time and they evolve fish like shapes.

More
Ethelred
not rated yet Feb 08, 2011
or some other animal, a resounding no
A resounding YES. Look at the bats. There are TWO kinds. The smaller ones with the odd faces. They may to be descended from rodents but no one is sure yet. The larger ones, the fruit bats, those we can be sure about. They are descended from primates. They have MANY primate characteristics and flying is the only thing they share with other bats. They changed KIND even by the standards of Creationists.

Plus there are the Flying Squirrels that make Creationists around here go blind deaf and unable to type every time I mention them. They fit the Creationist idea of a Missing Link EXACTLY. Which is why not one single Creationist here so far has even admitted that I mentioned them. They usually scarper off.
Hello Ethelred.
Hello Did read you the parts above? You simply don't understand what you are talking about. This problem is curable.

YOU can learn THIS.

The horror, the Fushigi add is infiltrating my brain.

Ethelred
Ethelred
not rated yet Feb 26, 2011
Follow up post to point out the obvious.

Oh my how the Creationist did indeed scarper off.

Not one Creationist on this site has the guts to engage in a discussion when Fruit bats or flying squirrels are mentioned. Just as effective as asking Kevin about the Flood.

Ethelred