Université de Fribourg

Reduced lifespan and increased ageing driven by genetic drift in small populations

Lohr, Jennifer N. ; David, Patrice ; Haag, Christoph R.

In: Evolution, 2014, vol. 68, no. 9, p. 2494–2508

Explaining the strong variation in lifespan among organisms remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Whereas previous work has concentrated mainly on differences in selection regimes and selection pressures, we hypothesize that differences in genetic drift may explain some of this variation. We develop a model to formalize this idea and show that the strong positive relationship between...

Université de Neuchâtel

Population size and identity influence the reaction norm of the rare, endemic plant cochlearia bavarica across a gradient of environmental stress

Paschke, Melanie ; Bernasconi, Giorgina ; Schmid, Bernhard

In: Evolution, 2002, vol. 57, no. 3, p. 496-508

Habitat degradation and loss can result in population decline and genetic erosion, limiting the ability of organisms to cope with environmental change, whether this is through evolutionary genetic response (requiring genetic variation) or through phenotypic plasticity (i.e., the ability of a given genotype to express a variable phenotype across environments). Here we address the question whether...