Analysis of the 30-year dynamics (from 1978 to 2008) of phenotype frequencies in the Moscow blue rock pigeon population revealed changes in the frequency distribution of several plumage color phenotypes. The frequency of the melanistic phenotype decreased as a result of the decrease in the total population size and, consequently, population density in colonies. This decrease in the pressure of the melanistic phenotype led to increased proportions of wild-type and aberrantly colored birds throughout the town and an increased frequency of transitory phenotypes in the central region. A predominance of one phenotype suppressed genetic diversity of plumage color phenotypes. The changes in the phenotype distribution in populations were associated with changes in the social structure of the human population. As the feeding resources grew poorer because of social anthropogenic factors, the pigeon population size decreased. This decrease in population size changed the phenotype frequencies, which was considered to be an adaptive response of the population to environmental changes.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 20, 2011
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