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The Fijian bees are locked into very specific habitats, and when these have contracted and split due to past climate change, the bee populations also became fragmented, with some isolated populations eventually turning into new species.

"The adaptation to new habitats and niches is often assumed to drive the diversification of species, but we found that Fijian bee diversity arose from an inability to adapt," says Flinders University's James Dorey, lead author on a new paper that explains this research.

The paper—"Radiation of tropical island bees and the role of phylogenetic niche conservatism as an important driver of biodiversity," by James Dorey, Scott Groom, Elisha Freedman, Cale Matthews, Olivia Davies, Ella Deans, Celina Rebola, Mark Stevens, Michael Lee and Michael Schwarz—has been published by Proceedings B journal.. .


kresica 7 Apr 17

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Really? It sounds like word salad to me in keeping with the new wave of agenda driven science.

There is nothing in the theory of natural selection that dictates that speciation results in "improvement". A species can only react to changes in the environment not predict them. Most species simply become extinct when the environment changes dramatically. Also contrary to popular belief because of genetic fidelity those individuals that have mutations that prove advantageous in changing environments for the most part are out competed in stable environments.

Since mutations are random the course of adaptation is also stochastic. A great deal of speciation may be a result of genetic drift especially in isolated populations. There is nothing new or enlightening about this observation. Contrary to popular conception large non isolated populations are more resistant to genetic drift than smaller populations. The number of mutations may be higher in large populations but they are less likely to become fixed.

Climate change is just one of many forces driving extinction rates and probably will prove less significant than the loss of habitat diversity. Climate change most likely will result in a temporary reduction in diversity compensated for by increasing biomass.

The blind clock maker doesn't have preferences nor intentions. Human value systems are extremely abstract and assume agency where none exists. It's this propensity to assign agency that leads to assumptions that correlation equals causation. One of the deadly sins of scientists.


It would not be surprising if both evolutionary paths were coexistent.

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