Navigation Links
Adaptive radiation


Adaptive radiation describes the rapid speciation of a single or a few species to fill many ecological niches. This is an evolutionary process driven by mutation and natural selection.

Adaptive radiation often occurs when a species is introduced to a new ecosystem, or when a species can survive in an environment that was unreachable before. For example, the Darwin's finches on the Galapagos islands developed from a single species of finches that reached the islands. Other examples include the introduction of predatory mammals to Australia by humans, the development of the first birds, which suddenly were able to expand their territory into the air, or the development of lung fish during the Devonian period, about 300 million years ago.

The dynamics of adaptive radiation is such that, within a relatively short time, many species derive from a single or a few ancestor species. From this large number of genetic combinations, only a few can survive on long term. After the rapid development of many new species, lots or most of them die out as quickly as they appeared. The surviving species are almost perfectly adapted to the new environment. The rise and fall of new species is now progressing very slowly, compared to the initial outburst of species.

There are three basic types of adaptive radiation. They are :

  1. General adaptation. A species that develops a radically new ability can reach new parts of its environment. An example of general adaptation is bird flight.
  2. Environmental change. A species that can, in contrast to the other species in the ecosystem, successfully survive in a radically changed environment will probably branch into new species that cover the new ecological niches created by the environmental change. An example of adaptive radiation as the result of an environmental change is the rapid spread and development of mammalian species after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  3. Archipelagoes. Isolated ecosystems, such as islands and mountain areas, can be colonized by a new species which upon establishing itself undergoes rapid divergent evolution. Darwin's finches are examples of adaptive radiation occurring in an archipelago.

In science fiction sometimes adaptive radiation of humans is imagined. This often makes for interesting multi-species worlds.


'"/>


(Date:12/10/2014)... , December 9, 2014 ... ITN,s BCARD Platform   ... enterprise meeting scheduling solutions for business-to-business (B2B) events, ... world leader in mobile near-field communication (NFC), Bluetooth ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140612/691055) , Jifflenow ...
(Date:12/3/2014)... As part of our commitment to offering ... to announce the release of a new reader that ... workforce data that they need. The Atlas ... existing readers. Many such devices have serious shortcomings when ... Older models force users to navigate numerous complicated steps ...
(Date:11/21/2014)...   Atmel® Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML ... technology solutions, today launched the industry,s first family of ... V cc range from 1.7V to 5.5V. The ... 2 C bus communication speeds, and are available with ... ideal for consumer, industrial, computer, and medical applications. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Jifflenow And ITN International Bring Cutting-Edge Badge Scanning Technology To B2B Events 2Jifflenow And ITN International Bring Cutting-Edge Badge Scanning Technology To B2B Events 3Inception Technologies to Release New Biometric Reader 2Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 2Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 3Atmel Launches Industry's First Wide-V(cc) Low-Power Temperature Sensor Family 4
... Italian research team, publishing in the current issue of ... on-line without charge at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct , has found ... play a role in the treatment of lung diseases, ... tuberculosis, chemical exposure, radiation or pathogens. These diseases can ...
... Muscular Atrophy is the second-leading cause of infant mortality in ... at Iowa State University,s College of Veterinary Medicine, would like ... even slide off the list altogether. , Most Spinal Muscular ... mutated or deleted gene called Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) ...
... at Penn State University, in collaboration with institutes in the ... long-sought structure of a layer of C60 carbon buckyballs ... help in the design of carbon nanostructure-based electronics are reported ... July 27th issue of APS,s on-line journal Physics ...
Cached Biology News:Placenta-derived stem cells may help sufferers of lung diseases 2ISU researchers find possible treatment for spinal muscular atrophy 2
Other biology definitionOther Tags