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Genetica 112-113: 245256, 2001. 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

Summary: Genetica 112-113: 245256, 2001.
2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Microevolution in island rodents
Oliver R.W. Pergams1 & Mary V. Ashley2
Department of Biological Sciences (M/C 066), University of Illinois at Chicago, 845 West Taylor Street, Chicago,
IL 60607-7060, USA (1Phone: (312) 996-5446; Fax: (312) 413-2435; E-mail: operga1@uic.edu;
2Phone: (312) 413-9700; Fax: (312) 413-2435; E-mail: ashley@uic.edu)
Key words: evolution, islands, mensural traits, microevolution, Mus musculus, Peromyscus maniculatus, Rattus
rattus, rodents, skeletal variants
We perform a meta-analysis on morphological data from four island rodent populations exhibiting microevolution
(< 100 years). Data consisting of incidences of skeletal variants, cranial, and external measurements are from
house mice (Mus musculus) on one Welsh and one Scottish island, black rats (Rattus rattus) on two Galapagos
islands, and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) on three California Channel islands. We report extremely high
rates of microevolution for many traits; 60% of all mensural traits measured changed at a rate of 600 d or greater
(max. 2682 d). The proportion of all mensural traits evolving at 600800 d (23%) was idiosyncratic and departed
from an expected negative exponential distribution. We argue that selection, rather than founder events, is largely
responsible for the substantial shifts in morphology seen among insular rodents. Examining individual traits, there
is a trend towards the nose becoming longer and wider, while the skull becomes shallower, shown by both rats and


Source: Ashley, Mary V. - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology