Cline – The Study of the Gradual Change in a Population over Time

Cline is a term used in anthropology to describe the gradual changes that occur in a population over time. It is used to explain the way that certain physical or cultural traits can change gradually as circumstances change for a population.

One example of cline in practice can be seen in the way that skin colour changes as a population moves from away from equatorial climates. This is because the closer a population is to the equator, the more direct sunlight they are exposed to. This causes their skin to produce more melanin in order to protect them from the sun’s UV rays. As a population moves further away from the equator, they are exposed to less sunlight, and their skin begins to produce less melanin.

Cline is often used in conjunction with the concept of cultural diffusion, which refers to the way that ideas and cultures spread from one area to another. A good example of this type of cline can be seen in the way that cultures change as a people migrate from one area to another. For instance, when a population moves from a rural area to a city, they may begin to adopt some of the city’s cultural traits, such as its language or its mode of dress.

The concept of cline is often used in population genetics, as it can help to explain the way that certain physical or cultural traits are passed down from one generation to the next. It can also be used to study the history of a population and to trace its movement over time.

Related terms:

Cultural Diffusion: The spread of ideas or cultures from one area to another.

Migration: The movement of people from one area to another.

Gene flow: The movement of genes from one population to another.

Population: A group of people who share a common ancestor and who live in the same area.

Frequency: The number of times a particular trait or event occurs in a population.

Glossary Terms starting with C

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