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Free Content Population dynamics of marine copepods: the importance of genetic variation

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Considerable genetic variation for demographic and other biological traits related to fitness exists in natural populations of marine planktonic copepods. Theory predicts that with large amounts of genetic variation the potential exists for rapid evolutionary change in response to changing environmental conditions. The aim of this research was to evaluate the potential evolutionary (i.e., genetic) response of the calanoid copepod, Labidocera aestiva to environmental change. Major genetic differences were observed between two laboratory lines that were initiated from the same pool of eggs and subsequently reared under similar conditions. The divergence is attributed to the small size of the founding populations, and possibly selection. Evidence for seasonal selection occurring in the field is reported and the significance of these findings is discussed in regard to the population dynamics of copepods.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1985

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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