a. For real changes to be seen, evolution takes at least tens of thousands
of years. So the secluded populations created by humans are still a
ways from providing noticeable changes. In
terms of evolution, one key driver of change is the isolated population.
If a population lacks representation of the full suite of variation
within a species, and that population is unable to breed outside its
island, eventually that population could become reproductively isolated
from (unable to breed with) the larger population. Once that
reproductive isolation occurs, by definition a new species is formed,
and further evolution might be expected.
animals with long generation periods and few offspring need large stable
territories to support a population large enough to maintain genetic
variation. As the forest fragments the larger mammals find their
populations less able to meet for genetic recombination so inbreeding
depression becomes a problem. Fragmentation and disturbances produce
smaller foraging territories with small populations with little
variation within each gene pool. Large mammals like moose a K
strategists in their life cycle.. K-strategists are niche resource
specialists meaning they are usually highly adapted rather than
generalists. They are resource partition adapters rather than emigrates
able to move on to another area with slightly different resources. Many
endangered species are K-strategists. Moose in fragmented forest would
be endangered along with other K strategists.
May 29th, 2015
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