Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/22902
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Effects of the demographic transition on the genetic variances and covariances of human life history traits
Authors: Bolund, Elisabeth
Hayward, Adam
Pettay, Jenni E
Lummaa, Virpi
Contact Email: adam.hayward@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Genetic correlation
heritability
stability of G
variance–covariance matrix
Issue Date: Mar-2015
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Bolund E, Hayward A, Pettay JE & Lummaa V (2015) Effects of the demographic transition on the genetic variances and covariances of human life history traits, Evolution, 69 (3), pp. 747-755.
Abstract: The recent demographic transitions to lower mortality and fertility rates in most human societies have led to changes and even quick reversals in phenotypic selection pressures. This can only result in evolutionary change if the affected traits are heritable, but changes in environmental conditions may also lead to subsequent changes in the genetic variance and covariance (theGmatrix) of traits. It currently remains unclear if there have been concomitant changes in theGmatrix of life-history traits following the demographic transition. Using 300 years of genealogical data from Finland, we found that four key life-history traits were heritable both before and after the demographic transition. The estimated heritabilities allow a quantifiable genetic response to selection during both time periods, thus facilitating continued evolutionary change. Further, theGmatrices remained largely stable but revealed a trend for an increased additive genetic variance and thus evolutionary potential of the population after the transition. Our results demonstrate the validity of predictions of evolutionary change in human populations even after the recent dramatic environmental change, and facilitate predictions of how our biology interacts with changing environments, with implications for global public health and demography.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/22902
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12598
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Sheffield
Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Turku
University of Sheffield

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