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Large body size in an island-dwelling bird : a microevolutionary analysis

Frentiu, F.D., Clegg, S.M. , Blows, M.W. , & Owens, I.P. (2007) Large body size in an island-dwelling bird : a microevolutionary analysis. Journal Of Evolutionary Biology, 20(2), pp. 639-649.

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Abstract

Island races of passerine birds display repeated evolution towards larger body size compared with their continental ancestors. The Capricorn silvereye (Zosterops lateralis chlorocephalus) has become up to six phenotypic standard deviations bigger in several morphological measures since colonization of an island approximately 4000 years ago. We estimated the genetic variance-covariance (G) matrix using full-sib and 'animal model' analyses, and selection gradients, for six morphological traits under field conditions in three consecutive cohorts of nestlings. Significant levels of genetic variance were found for all traits. Significant directional selection was detected for wing and tail lengths in one year and quadratic selection on culmen depth in another year. Although selection gradients on many traits were negative, the predicted evolutionary response to selection of these traits for all cohorts was uniformly positive. These results indicate that the G matrix and predicted evolutionary responses are consistent with those of a population evolving in the manner observed in the island passerine trend, that is, towards larger body size.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
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9 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 54099
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: silvereyes, island biology, adaptation, evolutionary genetics
DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2006.01242.x
ISSN: 1420-9101
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 12 Oct 2012 11:40
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2012 11:47

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