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Population dynamics

Changes in population size and gene flow between populations or the lack thereof are key processes in the evolutionary history of all species and often linked to environmental changes. Research during the last years has shown that species are much more dynamic entities than previously assumed, both with regard to population size changes and, as is currently becoming more and more apparent, also with regard to gene flow among populations and also between species. Thus, this topic is linked both to phylogenetics and adaptation in cases when adaptively relevant alleles get transferred between species or populations.

Recent selected publications

Fortes, G.G., Grandal-d'Anglade, A., Kolbe, B., Fernandes, D., Meleg, I.N., García-Vázquez, A., Pinto-Llona, A.C., Constantin, S., de Torres, T.J., Ortiz, J.E., Frischauf, C., Rabeder, G., Hofreiter, M and Barlow, A. (2016) Ancient DNA reveals differences in behaviour and sociality between brown bears and extinct cave bears. Molecular Ecology, published online 10th August 2016, doi: 10.1111/mec.13800.

Alter, S. E., Meyer M., Post, K., Czechowski, P., Gravlund, P., Gaines, C., Rosenbaum, H., Turvey, S.T., van der Plicht, J., Shapiro, B. and Hofreiter, M. (2015) Ancient DNA reveals climate-driven trans-oceanic dispersal in gray whales. Molecular Ecology, 24 (7), 1510-1522 (published online 9th March 2015, doi: 10.1111/mec.13121).

Horn, S., Prost, S., Stiller, M., Makowiecki, D., Kusnetsova, T., Benecke, N., Pucher, E., Hufthammer, A.K., Schouwenburg, C., Shapiro, B. and Hofreiter, M. (2014) Ancient mitochondrial DNA and the genetic history of European beaver Castor fiber. Molecular Ecology, 23, 1717–1729 (published online 12th February 2014; doi: 10.1111/mec.12691).

Prost, S., Guralnick, R.P., Waltari, E., Fedorov, V.B., Kuzmina, E., Smirnov, N., van Kolfschoten, T., Hofreiter, M. and Vrieling, K. (2013) Losing ground: past history and future fate of Arctic small mammals in a changing climate. Glob Chang Biol, 19 (6), 1854-1864 (published online 31st January; doi: 10.1111/gcb.12157).

Lorenzen, E., Noguès-Bravo, D., Orlando, L.,  Weinstock, J., Binladen, J., Marske, K. A., Haile, J., and 47 co-authors, Wayne, R. K., Cooper, A.,  Hofreiter, M., Sher, A., Shapiro, B., Rahbek, C. and Willerslev, E. (2011) Individualistic species responses to climate and humans determine Late Quaternary megafaunal extinction and survival. Nature, 479 (7373), 359-64 (published online 2nd November; doi: 10.1038/nature10574).

Stiller, M., Baryshnikov, G., Bocherens, H., Grandal d'Anglade, A., Hilpert, B., Münzel, S.C., Pinhasi, R., Rabeder, G., Rosendahl, W., Trinkaus, E., Hofreiter, M. and Knapp, M. (2010) Withering away - 25,000 years of genetic decline preceded cave bear extinction. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 27 (5), 975-978 (published online 24th March 2010).