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Maintenance of clonal diversity in asexual rotifer populations

Objective



Research objectives and content
Asexually reproducing species may show considerable genetic diversity within a habitat, but little is known about the mechanisms maintaining this diversity. Coexistence of clones within a habitat may be explained by spatial heterogeneity within the habitat combined with clonal differences in drought tolerance or resource use. Alternatively, temporal shifts in key environmental factors may result in alternating dominance of clones. The planned project investigates the mechanisms maintaining clonal diversity in two species of asexual rotifers. The main questions are: 1) What is the role of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the habitat for maintenance of clonal diversity? 2) Are the abundances and the distributions of clones in the habitat depending on their niche breadths (specialist vs generalist strategies)? The results will have implications for theories on maintenance of clonal diversity as well as for species and habitat conservation.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
I have made a successful start within this subject and further studies are essential if I am to use the skills and to test the ideas developed. The Centre for Population Biology has proved to be an excellent place for postdoctoral research due to its active and open atmosphere and the stay will give me the competence and the connections to act as a group leader. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)

Coordinator

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
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