Other Projects>Islands

Islands are unique ecosystems, the famous ‘natural laboratories’ cherished by ecologists and evolutionary biologists for their simplicity – reduced species diversity, including less predators and parasites, and limited area and number of habitats. These characteristics of islands lead to parallel patterns of evolution and we have been using the replicates provided by islands around the world to investigate patterns of adaption in life-history, morphological and behavioural traits. This has been done with several people, including Matthieu Paquet, Louis Bliard, Claire Loiseau, Aloïs Robert and Martim Melo. Currently, through the work of Raquel Ponti and Ana Leitão, we are focusing on two projects that tackle the mechanisms underlying morphological and colour evolution in island birds

Unravelling the ecological and molecular mechanisms of morphological evolution in island birds (Raquel Ponti, CIBIO)

Evolution of Female Ornamentation: a comparative and experimental approach using island birds (Ana Leitão, CIBIO)


Bliard L, Paquet M, Robert A, Dufour P, Renoult JP, Grégoire A, Crochet P-A, Covas R & Doutrelant C. 2020 Examining the link between relaxed predation and bird colouration on islands. Biology letters 16: 20200002. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2020.0002

Robert A, Lengagne T, Melo M, Gardette V, Julien S, Covas R, Gomez D & Doutrelant C. 2019 The Theory of Island Biogeography and Soundscapes: species diversity and the organization of acoustic communities.Journal of Biogeography 46, 1901-1911

Loiseau C, Melo M, Lobato E, Beadell JS, Fleischer RC, Reis S, Doutrelant C, Covas R. 2017 Insularity effects on the assemblage of the blood parasite community of the birds from the Gulf of Guinea. Journal of Biogeography 44: 2607–2617

Lobato E, Doutrelant C, Melo M, Reis S, Covas R 2017 Insularity effects on bird immune parameters: a comparison between island and mainland populations in West Africa. Ecology and Evolution 7: 3645-3656

Doutrelant C, Paquet M, Renoult JP, Grégoire A,Crochet P-A, Covas R 2016 Worldwide patterns of bird colouration on islands Ecology Letters 19:537-545

Covas R 2016 Life history evolution in island populations of birds. In Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology Kilman RM (ed). Elsevier, Oxford

Covas, R. 2012. Evolution of reproductive life histories in island birds worldwide. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 279, 1531-1537. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.1785

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