Navigation Links
Rodent size linked to human population and climate change
Date:7/30/2009

You probably hadn't noticed -- but the head shape and overall size of rodents has been changing over the past century. A University of Illinois at Chicago ecologist has tied these changes to human population density and climate change.

The finding is reported by Oliver Pergams, UIC research assistant professor of biological sciences, in the July 31 issue of PLoS One.

Pergams said that such size-and-shape changes in mammals, occurring around the world in less than a century, are quite substantial.

He had done earlier studies on a century's worth of anatomic changes between two geographically isolated rodents -- Channel Island deer mice from coastal California and white-footed mice northwest of Chicago -- and noted fast change among both.

"I suspected they weren't unique examples," he said. "I wondered whether these changes were occurring elsewhere, whether they were global in nature, and what some of the causes may be."

Pergams examined specimen rodents from museums around the world, including the big collections held at Chicago's Field Museum and the Smithsonian in Washington. Altogether, he recorded more than 17,000 body and skull measurements from 1,300 specimens from 22 locations in Africa, the Americas and Asia. The animals were collected from 1892 to 2001, and Pergams compared those from before 1950 to those collected after.

He also compared specimens gathered from sparsely populated islands to those from the mainland, where human populations were denser.

Pergams found both increases and decreases in the 15 anatomic traits he measured, with changes as great as 50 percent over 80 years. Ten of the 15 traits were associated with changes in human population density, current temperature, or trends in temperature and precipitation.

"Rapid change, contrary to previous opinion, really seems to be happening quite frequently in a number of locations around the world," Pergams said. "There seem to be significant correlations with 'people-caused' parameters, such as population density and anthropologically-caused climate change."

While Pergams' study was by no means comprehensive, it was the first attempt of its kind to examine data on mammals from many global locations to find links between morphological change and variables such as population density and changing climate.

"Species can adapt quickly to rapid environmental changes -- quicker than many people have thought, especially for mammals," said Pergams. "Those mammals that can adapt quickly have a much higher chance to survive big environmental changes caused by humans. Understanding which species and populations have the greatest ability to change has a crucial impact on being able to conserve biodiversity."


'/>"/>

Contact: Paul Francuch
francuch@uic.edu
312-996-3457
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Novel anti-cancer mechanism found in long-lived rodents
2. Rodent fossils allows to determine climate of the Iberian Peninsula 6 million years ago
3. LSUHSC shows for first time infant inhalation of ultrafine air pollution linked to adult lung disease
4. Genetic marker linked to problem behaviors in adults with developmental disabilities
5. Early-life experience linked to chronic diseases later in life: UBC research
6. Further gene mutations linked to autism risk
7. Protein linked to change in tissue that surround and support breast tumors
8. Dioxins in food chain linked to breastfeeding ills
9. Scientists uncover mode of action of enzyme linked with several types of cancer
10. Protein linked to mental retardation controls synapse maturation, plasticity, CSHL team finds
11. UCSF discovers new glucose-regulating protein linked with diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/16/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 16, 2016 Research ... Access System Market - Global Forecast to 2021" report to ... ... projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.06% from 2016 to ... 2016, and is projected to reach 854.8 Million by 2021. The ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... Germany , December 15, 2016 ... today announced an agreement with NuData Security, an award-winning ... The partnership will enable clients to focus on good customer ... data protection regulation. ... In order to provide a one-stop fraud prevention ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... ... announced the addition of the "Global Military Biometrics Market 2016-2020" ... military biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% during the ... an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers ... report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/11/2017)... La. (PRWEB) , ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... European business development professional has joined its team. Bernhard Bartylla will lead European ... “We’re working with Bernhard to introduce ACOMP and ARGEN to European manufacturers and ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... 2017 AnaptysBio, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology ... unmet medical needs in inflammation, today announced the ... financial officer.  Mr. Piscitelli will play a key ... overseeing the company,s accounting and SEC reporting functions. ... Dominic to the senior management team at AnaptysBio," ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... MINNEAPOLIS , Jan. 11, 2017 ... today announced that it has partnered with the ... life science research and diagnostics. The partnership was ... soluble form of receptor for advanced glycation end ... support subject selection for clinical trials in emphysema. ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... ... January 11, 2017 , ... Enabling ... technologies, with on premise functionality, from the cloud. MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, a Seattle, ... their existing Microsoft Office 365 E5 licensing to its maximum potential. The firm ...
Breaking Biology Technology: