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Animal AthletesAn Ecological and Evolutionary Approach$
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Duncan J. Irschick and Timothy E. Higham

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296545.001.0001

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Genetics, geographic variation, and community ecology

Genetics, geographic variation, and community ecology

Chapter:
(p.200) 10 Genetics, geographic variation, and community ecology
Source:
Animal Athletes
Author(s):

Duncan J. Irschick

Timothy E. Higham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296545.003.0010

Ecological communities are composed of coexisting animals and plants, and ecological and evolutionary forces influence their morphological features and performance capacities. Within these communities, individuals and different species impact one another through biotic factors such as predation, disease, or competition. In fact, several important intraspecific studies have found that the presence or absence of predators greatly affects how animals look and function. In addition to predation, competing for resources also drives trait evolution, assuming the traits are heritable. This chapter examines how factors such as genetics, geographic variation, and environmental differences can influence variation among populations for performance traits. In addition, it also examines how evolutionary principles can make it possible to understand morphological and performance variation within communities.

Keywords:   performance trait, geographic variation, predation, genetics, community

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