Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
© The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Edited By: John A. Allen
Impact Factor: 2.535
ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 27/46 (Evolutionary Biology)
Online ISSN: 1095-8312
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In a critical review of the literature on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA in the context of historical demography of terrestrial vertebrates, Anna Fahey and coworkers conclude that mtDNA variation in species with greater dispersal of males than females can lead to the misleading assumption of population expansion or natural selection.
On the other hand, mtDNA comes into its own as providing evidence for recent coalescence of populations. Such molecular approaches to the evaluation of historical demography are essential for feeding into models for predicting future demographies in the face of climate change. And climate change is an underlying theme of a paper by Lieven Therry et al. in the same issue. Triggered by global warming, the damselfly Coenagrion scitulum is expanding northwards in Europe and the authors have taken the opportunity to examine the possibly opposing effects of stressful conditions at the expanding northern edge of the range (individuals had lowered body condition) versus the evolutionary changes affecting the phenotype during the period of range expansion (individuals invested more energy into flight muscle, indicating strong selection for dispersal). Theoretical models for the effects of climate change on the geographical distribution of species need to take into account such tension between opposing selective forces.
News and Media Coverage
Research published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society : Colour change and camouflage in the horned ghost crab Ocypode ceratophthalmus has been covered by BBC Nature News: Horned ghost crabs change camouflage from day to night
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