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The 2024 Newcomb Cleveland Prize celebrates cross-cultural research between western and Indigenous scientists

The award has been given to an interdisciplinary research team with the participation of scientists from the Doñana Biological Station – CSIC
The study looked into the evolutionary...

Enhacing pollinator conservation through landscape heterogeneity

Having 20% of semi-natural habitats is key for ensuring healthy pollinator populations in Europe. OBServ projectaimed to leverage pollinators and the ecosystem services they provide as a key model...

El Museo Casa de la Ciencia de Sevilla estrena hoy dos nuevas exposiciones sobre biodiversidad y plásticos

‘Plastisfera: vida y muerte en el antropoceno»’ abre los ojos a un grave problema ambiental: los 430 millones de toneladas de plástico que se producen al año en todo el mundo.

New study shows that seagulls transport hundreds of kilos of plastic from landfills into natural reserves

Researchers from the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC) have developed a plastic deposition model based on the diet and movement of gulls monitored by GPS telemetry, while feeding in landfills in...

Scientific evidence is undeniable: aquifer exploitation is causing serious impacts on the most iconic national park in Spain

A scientific team from the Doñana Biological Station and the Geological and Mining Institute, institutes of the Spanish National Research Council, has reviewed more than 70 studies and demonstrates...

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Microevolutionary and demographic consequences of an evolutionary transition to flightlessness

Male of Chorthippus corsicus. Credit: Joaquín Ortega

Although the pervasiveness of intraspecific wing-size polymorphism and transitions to flightlessness have long captivated biologists, the micro-evolutionary and demographic outcomes of shifts in dispersal ability are not yet well understood and have been seldom studied at early stages of diversification. A new study developed at Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC) has employed genomic data to infer the consequences of dispersal-related trait variation in short-winged and long-winged forms of the taxonomically controversial Corsican grasshopper (Chorthippus corsicus).

The analyses showed lack of contemporary hybridization between sympatric long- and short-winged forms and phylogenomic reconstructions revealed their taxonomic distinctiveness, rejecting the hypothesis of intraspecific wing polymorphism and supporting the presence of two distinct species: the short-winged Chorthippus corsicus and the long-winged Chorthippus pascuorum. Molecular data estimated that the two species diverged <1.5 million years ago and are currently reproductively isolated. Although populations of the two species present a marked genetic structure and have experienced parallel demographic histories, the study has revealed that reduced dispersal has limited gene flow among populations and fueled diversification in the short-winged Chorthippus corsicus.

The results of this study illustrate how dispersal reduction can speed up genetic diversification and increase the opportunity for speciation in geographical isolation.


Ortego J, Gutiérrez-Rodríguez J, Noguerales V (2021) Demographic consequences of dispersal?related trait shift in two recently diverged taxa of montane grasshoppers. Evolution, in press.