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Evolution Notes

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Western University
Biology 3466B
Yolanda Morbey

Evolution NotesNov 2011 Adaptations Adaptations are traits that have evolved due to persistent natural or sexual selection It is a trait that increases the ability of an individual to survive or reproduce compared with individuals without the trait If a trait is proposed to be an adaptation we may askwhat is its function and is there a genetic basisAdaptation vs local adaptation Phenotypic differences among species are adaptations Phenotypic differences among populations within species are local adaptations Adaptation can be a noun trait of adaptation or a verb process of adaptation Methods to test for adaptive function Comparative methodsBetween species or between populations within species Without or with phylogenetic correction Selection experiments if selection is acting on a trait there is evidence that the trait is an adaption Tests of adaptive hypotheses Comparative method among species no phylogenetic correction The hypothesis is that large testes size in bats is an adaptation from living in a large social group It was found that there was positive correlationbats that live in larger groups have larger testes for their body size This is called phenotypeenvironment correlation In comparative analyses to test for adaptation we should control for phylogenetic dependence because species may have a shared ancestor Phylogenetic dependence When making a scatterplot it is important that all of the data points are independent of one another An example shows testes size for two sets of closely related species which three species in each set The one has had evolution of large testes size and large group size once in their ancestor They all inherited their large group sizes and large testes from their common ancestor The second set evolved small size once There were two evolution events In order for the points to be independent of each other
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