There are one species of cichlid fish with every two mammal species. It indicates that among animals biodiversity is distributed quite unevenly. Why is it so? And evolution can be predicted to what extent? Various “internal” and ecological factors play a vital role. Among different elements, a major decisive factor can be the environmental conditions, i.e., total habitats and similar ecological niches available.
This is one possible reason for having some species present in the tropics. Also, biological diversity can be influenced by the demographic history of the population. Is genetic variation level in a community is satisfactory and capable of allowing it to adapt to an ecological niche? Do they have enough time for doing so? Measuring all different factors which can contribute in biological diversity, maybe only for a single animals group, is not easy, and comparing mammals with a group of fish is something like attempting to compare apples with oranges.
Dr. Andreas Kault, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, is very well aware of the fallacy of attempting to compare apple with oranges. However, this was not applicable to his research. He focused mainly on cichlids while pursuing his doctoral studies.
His studies tell how “deterministic” evolution can be expected to be even with a diverse family like cichlids imagine what it would be like if 1000s of species of cichlids live in one of the African Great Lake. The degree of complexity here is beyond the imagination of a person. The genealogical relationship between these species of cichlid can be resolved only to a certain extent; Axel Meyer’s said who is a former doctoral student.
Evolutionary biology team of Meyer’s is currently working to resolve queries like why nature is producing this countless different species? Biodiversity’s origin? To what extent evolution can be predicted? Why does actually evolution repeat itself?
In the new publication of journal Evolution, letters researchers can identify few factors which contribute to recurrent patterns of diversity and similarity among cichlids. Researchers here are Axel Meyer, Andreas Kault, and Dr. Gonzalo Machado. By their finding, Andreas Kault raised a question:” Which are the factors which are leading to the same outcomes and can help us to predict evolution more?”
African Great Lakes are incredibly diverse therefore research team of Axel Meyer is also focusing on simple natural evolutionary experiment along with this.