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ECOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY EFFECTS OF DISPERSAL ON FRESHWATER ZOOPLANKTON BY

By Michael R. Allen

Abstract

A recent focus on contemporary evolution and the connections between communities has sought to more closely integrate the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Studies of coevolutionary dynamics, life history evolution, and rapid local adaptation demonstrate that ecological circumstances can dictate evolutionary trajectories. Thus, variation in species identity, trait distributions, and genetic composition may be maintained among ecologically divergent habitats. New theories and hypotheses (e.g., metacommunity theory and the Monopolization hypothesis) have been developed to understand better the processes occurring in spatially structured environments and how the movement of individuals among habitats contributes to ecology and evolution at broader scales. As few empirical studies of these theories exist, this work seeks to further test these concepts. Spatial and temporal dispersal are the mechanisms that connect habitats to one another. Both processes allow organisms to leave conditions that are suboptimal or unfavorable, and enable colonization and invasion, species range expansion, and gene flow among populations. Freshwater zooplankton are aquatic crustaceans that typicall

Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.176.5231
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