Maternal Effects on Evolutionary Dynamics in Wild Small Mammals

Andrew G. Mcadam

in Maternal Effects in Mammals

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226501192
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226501222 | DOI:
Maternal Effects on Evolutionary Dynamics in Wild Small Mammals

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This chapter examines the influence of maternal effects on the evolutionary dynamics of wild small mammals. It analyzes work on a natural population of North American red squirrels and discusses some of the implications of genetic maternal effects and maternal-effect evolution for internally driven population cycles in small mammals. The analysis reveals the importance of the model of maternal-effect evolution in explaining the changes in nestling growth rates across generations and the observed changes in red squirrel growth rates in response to episodes of strong directional selection.

Keywords: maternal effects; evolutionary dynamics; wild small mammals; red squirrels; maternal-effect evolution; population cycles; nestling growth rates; directional selection

Chapter.  7598 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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