This study examined the pattern of behavioral, genetic, and morphological variation occurring between phenotypically divergent populations of Uta stansburiana across a contact zone between the Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert ecosystems. I characterized the shift in agonistic display type across the zone to determine if individuals in the intergrade zone displayed intermediate phenotypes or enhanced variation in display. Individuals with diverse behavioral repertoires were found in all populations, but display type changed gradually and continuously along the transect of sampled populations, indicating a complex and possibly polygenic or multi-allelic mode of inheritance. Nuclear and mitochondrial markers indicate restricted gene flow though the discordance of the genetic data type suggest female-biased dispersal. Selection appears to be shaping the evolution of morphological traits such as size and limb length as these were significantly related to elevation differences along the transect.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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