The Interplay of Population Dynamics and the Evolutionary Process
Long-term maintenance of genetic diversity is affected by ecological forces that are driven in turn by current levels of genetic variation. The strength of population regulation and the consequent patterns of population fluctuations determine the likelihood of genetic changes considered pivotal for rapid speciation. However, genetic diversity in the susceptibility to regulatory forces can reduce the magnitude of such fluctuations and minimize the likelihood of genetic revolutions. A group of populations that experiences local extinctions and recolonizations may hold lower levels of genetic diversity than in the absence of such extinctions, but local adaption, which provides enhanced genetic diversity, can reduce the likelihood of local extinctions. Tightly regulated populations experience different selection pressures than poorly regulated populations, although tighter regulation itself can evolve. When genotypic variation affects the outcome of interspecific interactions on a local scale, this effect, coupled with appropriate spatial variation, can enhance the resilience of the interactive system.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- November 1990