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Does habitat specialization shape the evolutionary potential of wild bird populations ? [Journal of Avian Biology]

Keywords : heritability, additive genetic variance, neutral diversity, individual specialization, niche width

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Because specialist species evolved in more temporally and spatially homogeneous environments than generalist species, they are supposed to experience less fluctuating selection. For this reason, we expect specialists to show lower overall genetic variation as compared to generalists. We also expect populations from specialist species to be smaller and more fragmented, with lower neutral genetic diversity. We tested these hypotheses by investigating patterns of genetic diversity along a habitat specialization gradient in wild birds, based on estimates of heritability, coefficients of variation of additive genetic variance, and heterozygosity available in the literature.(...)

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