Contents 1 Gradient analysis 2 Ring species 3 See also 4 References


Gradient analysis[edit] In ecology, spatial clines have led to gradient analysis where the abundance and distribution of organisms is rendered by sinusoidal curves on the plane. From these curves can be extracted that populations occupy zones of maximum and minimum presence, according to their special needs and tolerances imposed by their environment.[5] Typically, a well-marked cline does not allow for a delineation of subspecies, as it is then impossible, by definition, to draw any further clear dividing lines between populations. In population genetics, a cline could include a spectrum of subspecies, as allele and haplotype frequencies tend to vary over a larger space; moreover, in evolution, genetic lineage sorting usually lags behind the establishment of locally differentiated phenotypes. Regardless, in neither case will such a variation yield different species, as long as the populations, though geographically spread, can interbreed one with another.[citation needed]


Ring species[edit] Interbreeding populations represented by coloured blocks The Larus gulls interbreed in a ring around the arctic. 1: Larus argentatus argentatus, 2: Larus fuscus (sensu stricto), 3: Larus fuscus heuglini, 4: Larus argentatus birulai, 5: Larus argentatus vegae, 6: Larus argentatus smithsonianus, 7: Larus argentatus argenteus Ring species[6] are a distinct type of cline where the geographical distribution in question is circular in shape, so that the two ends of the cline overlap with one another, giving two adjacent populations that rarely interbreed due to the cumulative effect of the many changes in phenotype along the cline. The populations elsewhere along the cline interbreed with their geographically adjacent populations as in a standard cline. Ring species present an interesting problem for those who seek to divide the living world into discrete species, as chain species are closely related to speciation (in this case, parapatric). In the case of Larus gulls, the habitats of the end populations even overlap, which introduces questions as to what constitutes a species: nowhere along the cline can a line be drawn between the populations, but they are unable to interbreed.[7] However a recent study (Liebers et al., 2004) has provided genetic evidence that this example is far more complicated than presented here, and likely does not constitute a typical ring species.[7][8]


See also[edit] Allometric engineering Ecotype Human skin color Isolation by distance Polymorphism (biology) Race (human categorization) Evolutionary biology portal Environment portal Ecology portal Earth sciences portal


References[edit] ^ For definition and an etymology, see Merriam-Webster entry for "cline." ^ Microsoft Encarta Premium 2009: "cline" ^ King, Stansfield, Mulligan: A dictionary of genetics, 7th ed. (2006), Oxford University Press:"cline" ^ Begon, Townsend, Harper, Ecology: From individuals to ecosystems, Blackwell Publishing, 4th ed. (2006), p. 10 ^ a b Eric R. Pianka: Evolutionary Ecology, 6th ed. (2000), Pearson Education, chapter 4 ^ Fundamentals of biogeography, Richard J. Huggett, 2nd ed. (2004), p. 20 ^ a b Larus ^ Liebers, Dorit; de Knijff, Peter & Helbig, Andreas J. (2004): The herring gull complex is not a ring species. Proc. Roy. Soc. B 271(1542): 893-901. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2679 PDF fulltext[permanent dead link][permanent dead link] Electronic Appendix[permanent dead link] v t e Speciation Basic concepts Species Species problem Reproductive isolation Chronospecies Anagenesis Cladogenesis Modes of speciation Allopatric Peripatric (Founder effect) Parapatric (Cline) Sympatric (Heteropatric) Ecological speciation Hybrid speciation Auxiliary mechanisms Adaptation Assortative mating Reinforcement Selection Sexual selection Paleopolyploidy Polyploidy Punctuated equilibrium Intermediate stages Hybrid Species complex Ring species Haldane's rule v t e Ecology: Modelling ecosystems: Trophic components General Abiotic component Abiotic stress Behaviour Biogeochemical cycle Biomass Biotic component Biotic stress Carrying capacity Competition Ecosystem Ecosystem ecology Ecosystem model Keystone species List of feeding behaviours Metabolic theory of ecology Productivity Resource Producers Autotrophs Chemosynthesis Chemotrophs 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Population size Predator–prey (Lotka–Volterra) equations Recruitment Resilience Small population size Stability Species Biodiversity Density-dependent inhibition Ecological effects of biodiversity Ecological extinction Endemic species Flagship species Gradient analysis Indicator species Introduced species Invasive species Latitudinal gradients in species diversity Minimum viable population Neutral theory Occupancy–abundance relationship Population viability analysis Priority effect Rapoport's rule Relative abundance distribution Relative species abundance Species diversity Species homogeneity Species richness Species distribution Species-area curve Umbrella species Species interaction Antibiosis Biological interaction Commensalism Community ecology Ecological facilitation Interspecific competition Mutualism Storage effect Spatial ecology Biogeography Cross-boundary subsidy Ecocline Ecotone Ecotype Disturbance Edge effects Foster's rule Habitat fragmentation Ideal free distribution 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