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

Frentiu, F. D., Clegg, S. M., Blows, M. W. and Owens, I. P. F. (2007) Large body size in an island-dwelling bird: A microevolutionary analysis. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20 2: 639-649. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2006.01242.x

Author Frentiu, F. D.
Clegg, S. M.
Blows, M. W.
Owens, I. P. F.
Title Large body size in an island-dwelling bird: A microevolutionary analysis
Journal name Journal of Evolutionary Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1010-061X
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2006.01242.x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 20
Issue 2
Start page 639
End page 649
Total pages 11
Editor Fairbairn, D. J.
Merila, J.
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject C1
270207 Quantitative Genetics
270799 Ecology and Evolution not elsewhere classified
780105 Biological sciences
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.
Keyword Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Genetics & Heredity
G matrix
genetic covariance
genetic variance
natural selection
Quantitative Genetics
Population Differentiation
Directional Selection
Silvereyes Aves
Darwins Finches
Heron Island
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Tue, 19 Feb 2008, 02:19:44 EST