Biology 1201A Chapter Notes -Algonquin Provincial Park, Cottontail Rabbit, Eastern Wolf

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25 Nov 2013
Department
1. What do biologists believe are the genetic/evolutionary relationships
between the Eastern Wolf (Canis lycaon) of Algonquin Provincial Park, the
Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), the Red Wolf (Canis rufus) and Coyotes (Canis
latrans)?
First off, Ecological factors play a big part in differences between the different types of
wolves. Such that, the body size is noticeably different among the different regions with
an increase in size along a latitudinal gradient, where animals in southern regions of
Ontario are smaller than the intermediate-sized animals in Algonquin Provincial Park.
Selection; the relationship between the wolves also has a great influence on by prey
availability. But grey wolves and coyotes in western North America, outside the historic
range of eastern wolves, show no evidence of hybridization. Also, the grey wolves,
eastern wolves and western coyotes are hybridized forms of the canis species. While
there is no verification of hybridization between grey wolves and coyotes, biologists
believe that gene flow between grey wolves and coyotes were the result of the presence
of the eastern wolf.
2. What are the differences in habitat and diet of these species?
Selection is influenced by differences in prey availability in the different regions. Larger
groups such as moose and woodland caribou most common in northern regions,
intermediate-sized prey such as white-tailed deer and beaver being common along with
moose in Algonquin Provincial Park, and smaller prey in southern Ontario such as
cottontail rabbit, groundhog and muskrat, which exist with abundant white-tailed deer
populations. Moose have been a fluctuating presence in APP since the early 1900s, but
Algonquin wolves have typically preyed primarily on deer. So these differences in
location and predators do have an impact on the genetics of these wolves.
3. Briefly describe a conservation/management effort that has been
implemented for the Eastern Wolf population in Algonquin
Provincial Park.Using complementary genetic markers, eastern wolves were tested to
see if they have acted as a conduit of sex-biased gene flow between grey wolves and
coyotes, and that eastern wolves in Algonquin Provincial Park have changed following a
history of hybridization.
4. Reviewing text and lecture material, what conditions must be met in order
for a trait to evolve by natural selection? (See Section 16.3 in Biology:
Exploring the Diversity of Life, 2nd Ed.)
Reproduction. Entities must reproduce to form a new generation.
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