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Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
40 Years of Evolution: Darwin's Finches on Daphne Major Island

40 Years of Evolution: Darwin's Finches on Daphne Major Island

by Peter R. Grant, B. Rosemary Grant Peter R. Grant
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An important look at a groundbreaking forty-year study of Darwin's finches

Renowned evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant have produced landmark studies of the Galápagos finches first made famous by Charles Darwin. In How and Why Species Multiply, they offered a complete evolutionary history of Darwin's finches since their origin almost three million years ago. Now, in their richly illustrated new book, 40 Years of Evolution, the authors turn their attention to events taking place on a contemporary scale. By continuously tracking finch populations over a period of four decades, they uncover the causes and consequences of significant events leading to evolutionary changes in species.

The authors used a vast and unparalleled range of ecological, behavioral, and genetic data—including song recordings, DNA analyses, and feeding and breeding behavior—to measure changes in finch populations on the small island of Daphne Major in the Galápagos archipelago. They find that natural selection happens repeatedly, that finches hybridize and exchange genes rarely, and that they compete for scarce food in times of drought, with the remarkable result that the finch populations today differ significantly in average beak size and shape from those of forty years ago. The authors' most spectacular discovery is the initiation and establishment of a new lineage that now behaves as a new species, differing from others in size, song, and other characteristics. The authors emphasize the immeasurable value of continuous long-term studies of natural populations and of critical opportunities for detecting and understanding rare but significant events.

By following the fates of finches for several generations, 40 Years of Evolution offers unparalleled insights into ecological and evolutionary changes in natural environments.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691160467
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 04/06/2014
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Peter R. Grant and B. Rosemary Grant are both emeritus professors in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. They are the coauthors of How and Why Species Multiply and coeditors of In Search of the Causes of Evolution (both Princeton).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xvii

List of Tables xxiii

List of Boxes xxv

Preface xxvii

Part 1 Early Problems, Early Solutions 1

1 Speciation, Adaptive Radiation, and Evolution 3

Introduction 3

Adaptive Radiation of Darwin's Finches 4

Species and Speciation 9

Daphne 10

Evolution Observed 12

Chapters of the Book 15

Summary 16

2 Daphne Finches: A Question of Size 17

Introduction 17

Testing the Hypothesis 21

Availability Of Food 22

Diets of G. Fortis and G. Fuliginosa 22

Differences in Seed Supply 27

G. Fuliginosa On Los Hermanos 28

Association between Beak Size and Diet 30

Adaptive Landscapes 30

Can G. scandens Be Ignored? 35

Why Is G. fuliginosa Absent? 37

Discussion 39

Summary 39

3 Heritable Variation 41

Introduction 41

Estimating Heritable Variation 43

Heritable Variation 44

Potential Biases 46

Extra-Pair Paternity 46

Misidentified Paternity 47

Maternal Effects 47

Genotype X Environment Correlation 48

Conclusions on Bias 49

Heritabilities: A Comparison of Species 49

Summary 53

4 Natural Selection and Evolution 55

Introduction 55

Expectations 56

Natural Selection 57

Causes of Selective Mortality 59

The Targets of Selection 61

Evolution in Response to Selection 62

Selection Occurs Repeatedly 63

Selection Oscillates in Direction 67

Evolutionary Response 73

Selection in Opposite Directions 74

Conclusions 75

Summary 75

5 Breeding Ecology and Fitness 77

Introduction 77

Basic Breeding Biology 78

Annual Variation in Reproduction in 81 Relation to Rain 81

Predicting Reproductive Success 87

The Cohorts of 1975 87

Four Later Cohorts 89

The Contribution of Morphology to Fitness 90

The Contribution of Offspring to Parental Fitness 93

Longevity 93

Inbreeding 96

Variation in Fitness 97

Discussion 99

Summary 100

Part 2 Developing a Long-Term Perspective 101

6 A Potential Competitor Arrives on Daphne 103

Introduction 103

Founder Event 105

Causes 105

First Few Generations 106

Inbreeding 107

Fitness Costs of Inbreeding 107

Immigration 108

Selection 109

Genetic Diversity 111

Losses and Gains of Alleles 112

The Source of Immigrants 112

Nonrandom Colonization 115

Song 115

Colonization Success 117

Summary 119

7 Competition and Character Displacement 122

Introduction 122

Competition and Diet Overlap 123

Effects of Competition on Survival 123

Character Displacement 125

Strength of Selection 128

The Causal Role of G. Magnirostris 129

High impact on food supply 130

Superior feeding efficiency on shared component of the diet 130

Parallel decline due to starvation 130

Key difference between 1977 and 2004 132

Evolution of a Displaced Character 132

G. Fortis and Scandens Compared 133

Some Implications 134

Summary 136

8 Hybridization 138

Introduction 138

Background 139

Frequency of Hybridization 141

Causes of Hybridization 141

A Scarcity of Conspecific Mates 141

Imprinting 143

Song Inheritance 143

Perturbation of Imprinting 149

G. Magnirostris 153

Fitness Consequences of Hybridization 156

Viability 156

Fertility 160

Overall Fitness 160

The Mating Pattern of Hybrids 163

Conclusions 164

Summary 165

9 Variation and Introgression 166

Introduction 166

Morphology of Hybrids 169

Effects of Hybridization on Variation 169

Comparison of G. Fortis and G. Scandens 171

Conspecific Gene Flow 174

Hybridization versus Mutation 174

Correlations 176

Evolutionary Potential 177

Discussion 178

Summary 179

Part 3 Hybridization and Speciation 181

10 Long-Term Trends in Hybridization 183

Introduction 183

A Question of Identity 184

Blurring of Genetic Distinctions 185

Blurring of Morphological Distinctions 188

Morphological Convergence 190

Frequencies of Hybrids 191

Morphological Variation 192

Allometry 194

Genetic Convergence 196

Two Species or One? 199

Plumage and Behavior 201

Discussion 201

Summary 204

11 Long-Term Trends in Natural Selection 205

Introduction 205

Selection 207

G. Fortis 207

G. Scandbns 207

Ecological Causes 207

Stabilizing Selection 211

Morphological Trends 211

G. Fortis 211

G. Scandens 213

G. Magnirostris 216

The Possible Role of Selection on G. Magnirostris 219

Immigration 223

The Cause of the Beak-Size Trend 224

Allometry of Means 224

Natural and Artificial Selection 226

Conclusion 226

Summary 228

12 Speciation 229

Introduction 229

Morphological Transformation in Speciation 230

Species that Differ in Size 231

Species that Differ in Shape 232

Genetic Transformation in Speciation 234

Growth after Hatching 236

Rapid Tempo of Speciation 238

Interactions in Sympatry 239

A Mechanism Producing Song Divergence 241

Summary 243

13 Speciation by Introgressive Hybridization 245

Introduction 245

A Hybrid Arrives on Daphne 247

Descendants 248

Phase 1 The Start of a New Lineage 248

The phenotypic uniqueness of 5110 250

Phase II Generations 1-3 251

Phase III Endogamy and Reproductive Isolation 253

Origin of Reproductive Isolation 260

Fate of the A Line of Descent 260

Success of the Lineage So Far 263

Intrinsic Factors 263

Extrinsic Factors 265

Future Prospects 265

Summary 267

Part 4 Syntheses 269

14 The Future of Finches on Daphne 271

Introduction 271

The Past as Context of the Present 272

Merge-and-Diverge Dynamics 275

The Present as a Guide to the Future 275

Global Warming and Galapagos 276

Finch Futures 279

Means and Extremes 279

G. Fortis, Scandens, and Fuliginosa 280

G. Magnirostris 280

Hybrid Lineage 281

Invasive Plant Species and Disease 283

Genomes for the Future 284

Summary 286

15 Themes and Issues 287

Introduction 287

Speciation, Selection, and Hybridization 289

Evolution 289

Ecological Importance of Food: The Daphne Perspective 290

Behavioral Barrier to Interbreeding 291

Size and Hybridization 293

Phylogenetic Implications of Hybridization 294

Ephemerality of Species 294

Predictability and Evolvability 296

Overview 298

Summary 299

16 Generalization 300

Generalizing When N = 1 300

The Small Population Syndrome 301

The Medium Population Syndrome 302

Large Islands 303

Beyond Galapagos 304

The Specter of Extinction, the Big Unknown 306

Summary 308

17 Epilogue 310

Reflections on the Value of Long-Term Studies 310

Long-Term Dynamics of a Color Polymorphism 311

Rare Events and their Consequences 315

Changes in Perspective 316

Coda 319

Appendixes 321

Appendix 1.1 Daphne Plants 321

Appendix 1.2 Measurements of Finches 323

Appendix 1.3 Other Species of Darwin's Finches 324

Appendix 3.1 Mapping Breeding Locations 324

Appendix 3.2 Annual Changes in Measurements 324

Appendix 5.1 Extra-pair Mating 326

Appendix 5.2 Visitors and Predation 327'

Appendix 9.1 Variation and Mortality 328

Appendix 10.1 On the Dangers of Extrapolation 331

Appendix 10.2 Plumage 331

Appendix 11.1 Samples of Measurements for Selection Analyses 332

Appendix 13.1 Identification of Breeders 335

Appendix 17.1 Nestling Beak Color Polymorphism 335

Abbreviations 341

Glossary 343

References 353

Subject Index 389

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Reading this book is like having an engaging conversation with two of the most prominent and charming field biologists of our time. Come listen to their singular adventure, unprecedented insight, and eyewitness account of evolution in action. A terrific must-read for all students of biology, from enthusiasts to experts."—Hopi E. Hoekstra, Harvard University

"This masterful work summarizes four decades of research on Darwin's finches by the Grants and their many students and collaborators. The book provides an eloquent illustration of how our general understanding of evolution is advanced by a rigorous, sustained focus on a handful of species on a single island."—Joel G. Kingsolver, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"A captivating synthesis of arguably the most important research program in evolutionary biology in the last half century. From classic work on Darwin's finches decades ago to groundbreaking new discoveries, it's all here. A must-read for any student of evolution."—Jonathan Losos, Harvard University

"In this delightful and informative book, Peter and Rosemary Grant bring readers along on their four-decade voyage of discovery into the lives of Darwin's finches in the Galápagos archipelago. This is a book about evolutionary change and the origin of new species. The Grants' story—about themselves, natural history and scientific inquiry, and birds and speciation—will inspire anyone with an interest in the natural world."—Robert E. Ricklefs, University of Missouri, St. Louis

"This magnificent book is about the most successful field study on evolution ever conducted—the Darwin finch project on the island of Daphne Major. There is no other book or team of researchers that tells similar stories with such fine detail and such a clear eye over an equivalent span of time. Defying comparison, 40 Years of Evolution is one for the ages."—Dolph Schluter, University of British Columbia

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