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LSM2251 Ecology & the Environment

Molles, 4th edition (2007): Chapters 8 & 9 = 5th edition (2009): Chapters 4 & 9

05 Populations

Lecture 05 Populations
Topics
Part I - Populations & Natural Selection 1. What is a population? 2. The process of natural selection 3. Population genetics and Natural Selection
[Molles 4th Edn - Chapter 8; 5th Edn - Chapter 9]

Lecture 05 Populations
Topics
Part II - Population distribution and abundance [Molles 4/5th Edn - Chapter 9] 4. What is a population? 5. Environmental limits to species distribution 6. Distribution patterns 7. Applications to conservation

PART I. POPULATIONS AND NATURAL SELECTION


1. What is a population? 2. The process of natural selection 3. Population genetics and Natural Selection

1. What is a population?
De fi n it io n s

1. What is a population?
a group of individuals, of a single species, inhabiting a specic area, dened by natural or articial boundaries.
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1. What is a population

Population denitions
Population ecology - a group of individuals
of the same species inhabiting the same area

Genetics - a group of interbreeding


given area

individuals of the same species, which is isolated from other groups

Human demography - a set of humans in a


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2. The process of natural selection


De fi n it io n s

2. The process of natural selection

Charles Robert Darwin


English naturalist On the origin of species, 1859 amongst others Theory of natural selection Modern evolutionary synthesis Post-synthesis
LSM3252 Evolution and Comparative Genomics

2. The process of natural selection

http://darwin-online.org.uk/

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2. The process of natural selection

Mechanism of Inheritance? Darwin (1859) has no idea what the mechanism of


inheritance was. me

Regarding mathematics - the work was repugnant to He regretted this later, for men thus endowed
seem to have an extra sense

Mendel was a schoolboy when Darwin was exploring


the Galpagos Islands.

His university education emphasised

experimentation and provided a solid foundation in mathematics.


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2. The process of natural selection

Mechanism of Inheritance?

Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) worked with plants, most


famously the garden pea, Pisum sativum. result of underlying genetic variation . length, ower positions, etc.

Domestic varieties showed great physical variation as a Use of manageable characteristics - seed form, stem Discovered alleles - dominant, recessive forms.
Mendels failed to study inheritance with bees. His work was only discovered later and adopted in 1900
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Points to reect on
Observation Experimentation The right study subject A systematic approach Role of mathematics Collaboration
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2. The process of natural selection

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/
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2. The process of natural selection

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

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2. The process of natural selection

Evolution

Biological evolution = descent with modication - is a change in gene frequency within a population over time.

Small-scale evolution - changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next. Large-scale evolution - the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations.
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Natural selection?
It is a key mechanism of evolution. The process by which heritable traits that

are likely to improve an organisms chances of survival and successfully reproduce become more common in a population over successive generations.

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2. The process of natural selection


VIST: 1. Variation 2. Inheritance 3. Selection 4. Time

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2. The process of natural selection

VIST: 1. Variation - genetic variation upon which selection works [source: mutations, gene transfer between populations or
species (prokaryotes) and genetic drift]

2. Inheritance - genetic traits inherited from parents and passed to offspring. 3. Selection - organisms with favourable traits survive and pass genes on to the next generation. 4. Time - evolution happens over generations [smallscale], but speciation can take much longer [large-scale].

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2. The process of natural selection

Adaptation

A feature (e.g. your molars are adapted to chewing)


or a process

The evolutionary process by which a population becomes


better suited to its habitat.

Environmental pressure acting on variation amongst


individuals in populations results in adaptations. These are: changes in anatomy, physiology and behaviour improving the ability of members of a population to live in a particular environment.

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2. The process of natural selection

Question

What is:

the introduction and elimination of inherited


traits of a population of organisms through successive generations as a result of genes and the environment

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3. Population genetics and Natural Selection


C h a p te r 8 (4 th Edn ); C h 4 (5th Edn ) Mol le s

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3. Population genetics and Natural Selection


1. Variation within populations 2. The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium 3. Natural selection 4. Evolution by natural selection 5. Random processes

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3. Population Genetics and Natural Selection

1.Variation within populations


Phenotypic variation among individuals in a population results from the combined effects of genes and the environment.

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Phenotypic and genetic variation in Potentilla glandulosa


Clausen, Keck & Hiersey, 1940

Tom Hilton
http://www.ickr.com/photos/ tomhilton/2710780978/

Grows from 0 - 3,000m asl


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Phenotypic and genetic variation in Potentilla glandulosa


Clausen, Keck & Hiersey, 1940

Grew clones of lowland, mid-elevation and


alpine plants in three experimental gardens: 30m, 1,400m and 3,050m asl.

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Phenotypic and genetic variation in Potentilla glandulosa


Clausen, Keck & Hiersey, 1940

Null hypothesis - there are no genetic differences between populations, all plants would grow equally well.

The plants did not grow equally well (height, owering) There were genetic differences (variation) between populations.

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Phenotypic and genetic variation in Potentilla glandulosa


Clausen, Keck & Hiersey, 1940

In alpine conditions,

Lowland plants mostly died or fruits did


not mature.

Mid-elevations populations survived poorly


and fruits did not mature.

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Phenotypic and genetic variation in Potentilla glandulosa


Clausen, Keck & Hiersey, 1940

Ecotype

Each ecotype performed best under conditions most


closely resembling its natural habitat.

Each ecotype is genetically distinctive and is best

adapted to an optimal habitat (natural environment). determine the morphological and physiological differences allowing Potentilla glandulosa to adapt to its respective environmental conditions.
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Clausen postulated in 1951 that more than 100 genes

Predict the outcome of populations as a result of global warming

What happens to the populations of


lowland, mid-elevation and alpine species?

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3. Population Genetics and Natural Selection

4. Evolution by Natural Selection


The extent to which phenotypic variation is due to genetic variation determines the potential for evolution by natural selection. - for natural selection to produce evolutionary Covered in change, traits must be heritable
LSM1102 Molecular Genetics

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Adaptive change in Brown anole Anolis sagrei


Losos, Warheit & Schoener (1997)

Carla Kishinami
http://www.ickr.com/photos/kishlc/ 3721231192/

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Adaptive change in Brown anole Anolis sagrei

Anolis lizards: Hind limb length long - run faster Hind limb length short - move efciently
on narrow branches

Losos, Warheit & Schoener (1997)

Source population: 5-10 lizards to 11 small


islands with no lizards and shorter vegetation than source; 10-14 year wait before remeasure.

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Adaptive change in Brown anole Anolis sagrei


Losos, Warheit & Schoener (1997)

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Adaptive change in Brown anole Anolis sagrei


Losos, Warheit & Schoener (1997)

Colonising populations adapt rapidly!


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Signicance?
Some species can adapt rapidly to new
environments.

Remind of you of any movies?

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3. Population Genetics and Natural Selection

5. Change Due to Chance


Random processes, such as genetic drift, can change gene frequencies in populations, especially in small populations.

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Genetic variation in Island populations Frankham (1997)

Historically, extinction rates have been


much higher for island populations

Did island populations have lower genetic variation compared to mainland populations? Do endemic island populations have lower genetic variation than non-endemic mainland populations?

Literature:

202 comparisons of island vs mainland genetic diversity; 38 endemic species studies


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Genetic variation in Island populations

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Genetic variation in Island populations

Generally, genetic variation is lower in


smaller, isolated islands

Saccheri et al., 1998 working on Melitaea cinxia butteries showed:

Highest inbred populations (low heterozygosity) had the highest probability of extinction.

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Speciation in widely dispersed populations

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Flower crab, Portunus pelagicus Distribution: Indo-west pacic

Photo by Amanda Tan, Pulau Ubin jetty, 04 Sep 2010

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Portunus pelagicus is now four species (Lai et al,, 2010)

East & South East Asia

Western Indian Ocean

Bay of Bengal

Australia

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East Asia

Bay of Bengal

Southeast Asia Southeast Asia

West Pacic

Indian Ocean

Australia

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Portunus pelagicus is now four species (Lai et al,, 2010)

East & South East Asia

Western Indian Ocean

Bay of Bengal

Australia

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PART II. POPULATION DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE


Applications in: biogeography, conservation and management of endangered species, aliens, pests and disease vectors, climate change issues

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4. What is a population?
on di st ri b u ti on a n d a b un da n ce Po p ul ati

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What is a population?
a group of individuals, of a single species, inhabiting a specic area, dened by natural or articial boundaries.
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Characteristic of a population
Distribution - size, shape, location of
occupied area.

Density - spacing of individuals/abundance. Age distribution, rates of birth and death,


immigration, emigration, growth etc.

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What is a subpopulation?
[Molles, Chapter 10.2]

A population may not occur as a single


continuously distributed population. patches with signicant exchange of indivduals among patches.

It may instead occur in spatially isolated Each patch is occupied by a subpopulation.


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What is a metapopulation?
[Molles, Chapter 10.2]

A group of subpopulations living on

spatially isolated patches but exchanging individuals through immigration or emigration collectively form a metapopulation.

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Oriental pied hornbill on Pulau Ubin

Photo by eawtan, ClubSnap http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?p=912250


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Is the Oriental pied hornbill on Pulau Ubin a metapopulation?

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Are mangrove species at Mandai mangrove a subpopulation?

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Characteristic of a population
Distribution - lets examine this now

Density Age distribution, rates of birth and death, immigration, emigration, growth etc

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5. Environmental limits to species distribution


Limits imposed by physiology, behaviour and morphology
on di st ri b u ti on a n d a b un da n ce Po p ul ati

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Eastern grey kangaroo, uniformly wet

North: Too hot!

North: Too hot, winters too dry!

Western grey kangaroo, wet winters

North: Too wet!

Red kangaroo, hot and dry

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Global distribution (Robinson projection) of dominant or potentially important malaria vectors. From Kiszewski et al., 2004. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 70(5):486-498.

Anopheles: 430 spp., about 40 spp. are vectors.


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Global distribution (Robinson projection) of dominant or potentially important malaria vectors. From Kiszewski et al., 2004. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 70(5):486-498.

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Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus The Asian tiger mosquito or forest day mosquito

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Historical distribution of Anopheles


Predicted Australasian range map of Ae. albopictus. From: Benedict, M. Q., R. S. Levine, W. A. Hawley & L. P. Lounibos, 2007. Spread of the Tiger: Global Risk of Invasion by the Mosquito Aedes albopictus.Vector Borne Zoonotic Diseases, 7(1): 7685.
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Distribution across a gradient: rocky shore barnacles (Conell, 1961)

Calm seas, warm weather


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Factors
Optimal habitat - physical Competition - biological

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IVLE: Weblinks

Local species of barnacles


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IVLE: Weblinks
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(Recess week) Consultation


IM: sivasothi@live.com Email for appointments: sivasothi@nus.edu.sg

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