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SnowbirdIntegrative Biology and Evolutionary Diversity in the Junco$
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Ellen D. "Ketterson and Jonathan W. Atwell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226330778

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226330808.001.0001

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Shifts in Hormonal, Morphological, and Behavioral Traits in a Novel Environment

Shifts in Hormonal, Morphological, and Behavioral Traits in a Novel Environment

Comparing Recently Diverged Junco Populations

(p.225) Chapter Ten Shifts in Hormonal, Morphological, and Behavioral Traits in a Novel Environment

Jonathan W. Atwell

Danielle J. Whittaker

Trevor D. Price

Ellen D. Ketterson

University of Chicago Press

In a rapidly changing world, understanding how organisms and populations respond to new or changing environments is of importance for addressing challenges related to conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human health. Contemporary colonization events provide a rare opportunity to study developmental and evolutionary responses to novel environments in ‘real time.’ In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive review of nearly two decades of research examining a unique Junco colonization event in S. California, in which a typically montane-breeding subspecies (J.hyemalis thurberi) recently (c. 1983) established a small population in an urban and coastal environment. First, we discuss the unique natural history of this study system. Second, we summarize observed phenotypic changes in behavior, morphology, and physiology that have been documented to date, including evidence for both [developmental] plasticity and rapid [genetic] evolution, inferred from field and common garden studies. Third, we discuss the relevance of these studies in the wider context of efforts to link integrative and evolutionary biology by studying hormones and hormone-mediated traits. We conclude by exploring the promise of ongoing and future work in this system, including a scope for adding replicate population comparisons from other Junco colonizations of urban habitats and offshore islands.

Keywords:   adaptation, boldness, climate change, corticosterone, divergence, microevolution, phenology, rapid evolution, testosterone, urbanization

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