Advanced

Back to basics : Using colour polymorphisms to study evolutionary processes

Svensson, Erik I. LU (2017) In Molecular Ecology
Abstract

Here, I suggest that colour polymorphic study systems have been underutilized to answer general questions about evolutionary processes, such as morph frequency dynamics between generations and population divergence in morph frequencies. Colour polymorphisms can be used to study fundamental evolutionary processes like frequency-dependent selection, gene flow, recombination and correlational selection for adaptive character combinations. However, many previous studies of colour polymorphism often suffer from weak connections to population genetic theory. I argue that too much focus has been directed towards noticeable visual traits (colour) at the expense of understanding the evolutionary processes shaping genetic variation and... (More)

Here, I suggest that colour polymorphic study systems have been underutilized to answer general questions about evolutionary processes, such as morph frequency dynamics between generations and population divergence in morph frequencies. Colour polymorphisms can be used to study fundamental evolutionary processes like frequency-dependent selection, gene flow, recombination and correlational selection for adaptive character combinations. However, many previous studies of colour polymorphism often suffer from weak connections to population genetic theory. I argue that too much focus has been directed towards noticeable visual traits (colour) at the expense of understanding the evolutionary processes shaping genetic variation and covariation associated with polymorphisms in general. There is thus no need for a specific evolutionary theory for colour polymorphisms beyond the general theory of the maintenance of polymorphisms in spatially or temporally variable environments or through positive or negative frequency-dependent selection. I outline an integrative research programme incorporating these processes and suggest some fruitful avenues in future investigations of colour polymorphisms.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Adaptation, Animal mating/breeding systems, Behaviour/social evolution, Comparative biology, Contemporary evolution, Ecological genetics
in
Molecular Ecology
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85013029104
  • wos:000400334600002
ISSN
0962-1083
DOI
10.1111/mec.14025
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fe531129-1d46-43e0-b135-4ef1eb207fa0
date added to LUP
2017-03-01 13:01:52
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:53:25
@article{fe531129-1d46-43e0-b135-4ef1eb207fa0,
  abstract     = {<p>Here, I suggest that colour polymorphic study systems have been underutilized to answer general questions about evolutionary processes, such as morph frequency dynamics between generations and population divergence in morph frequencies. Colour polymorphisms can be used to study fundamental evolutionary processes like frequency-dependent selection, gene flow, recombination and correlational selection for adaptive character combinations. However, many previous studies of colour polymorphism often suffer from weak connections to population genetic theory. I argue that too much focus has been directed towards noticeable visual traits (colour) at the expense of understanding the evolutionary processes shaping genetic variation and covariation associated with polymorphisms in general. There is thus no need for a specific evolutionary theory for colour polymorphisms beyond the general theory of the maintenance of polymorphisms in spatially or temporally variable environments or through positive or negative frequency-dependent selection. I outline an integrative research programme incorporating these processes and suggest some fruitful avenues in future investigations of colour polymorphisms.</p>},
  author       = {Svensson, Erik I.},
  issn         = {0962-1083},
  keyword      = {Adaptation,Animal mating/breeding systems,Behaviour/social evolution,Comparative biology,Contemporary evolution,Ecological genetics},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Molecular Ecology},
  title        = {Back to basics : Using colour polymorphisms to study evolutionary processes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.14025},
  year         = {2017},
}