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How does natural selection function to shape biodiversity in ecosystems?

Natural selection shapes biodiversity in ecosystems by favouring individuals with advantageous traits.

Natural selection is the process by which individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing on those traits to their offspring. This leads to a gradual change in the characteristics of a population over time, as advantageous traits become more common. For example, in a population of birds, those with longer beaks may be better able to access food sources, and therefore more likely to survive and reproduce. Over time, this can lead to a population with longer beaks overall.

Natural selection can also lead to the development of new species. When a population becomes geographically isolated, different selective pressures may act on each population, leading to divergence in traits. Over time, this can result in the formation of new species that are no longer able to interbreed with the original population.

However, natural selection is not the only factor that shapes biodiversity in ecosystems. Other factors, such as genetic drift and gene flow, can also play a role. Genetic drift is the random fluctuation of allele frequencies in a population, while gene flow is the movement of genes between populations. These processes can lead to changes in biodiversity that are not necessarily driven by natural selection.

Overall, natural selection is a powerful force that shapes biodiversity in ecosystems by favouring individuals with advantageous traits. However, it is important to consider other factors that may also play a role in shaping biodiversity.

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