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An Assessment of Microevolutionary Forces on Grass Species

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A study of a single grass species at an abondened copper mine, where some patches of soil were contaminated with heavy metals, and some patches were uncontaminated, showed the following:
a) All the grass growing on soil contaminated with heavy metals was tolerant of the heavy metals

b) Grass from uncontaminated sites, just few feet away from contaminated sites, died when planted in the contaminated soil.

Given that the grass species grew at the site before the soil was contaminated, I explain the finding in terms of microevolutionary forces. I also include the origin of the alleles for heavy metal tolerance as well as name and explain the evolutionary forces that are probably most important in the development of heavy metal tolerance.

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Solution Summary

In about 235 words, the topic of microevolutionary forces is analyzed with a focus on how this scenario relates to natural selection.

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A. The grass species from the soil with heavy metal contamination from the copper mine might have mutated in response to environmental stress or drastic environmental change (in this case, a mine spill and eventually, heavy metal contamination. 1. Mutations in genes called homeobox genes can produce major structural changes . Such mutation could explain the ...

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