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Climate Change Could Change Rates of Evolution

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Old Wednesday 23rd February 2011, 20:42   #1
Acrocephalus
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Climate Change Could Change Rates of Evolution

Gross L (2011) Climate Change Could Change Rates of Evolution. PLoS Biol 9(2): e1001015. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001015

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Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 02:00   #2
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I cant read this article, but surely its not so much a case of could, but a most definite case of will. Climate change is ultimately environmental change, and evolution is very simply environmental adaption, rapid changes in environment exaggerate the pressures on which genetic variation is naturally selected.

Id love to know what it says, but to my post grad biology mind I find it discerning that this should come as a surprise to people.
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Old Saturday 26th February 2011, 10:23   #3
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Originally Posted by Acrocephalus View Post
Gross L (2011) Climate Change Could Change Rates of Evolution. PLoS Biol 9(2): e1001015. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001015

article
Mohamed,
Thank you for this link. Both PDFs downloaded immediately.

The synopsis and the papwer address the 'whole picture', although there are numerous examples, such as the Galapagos finches, that demonstrate that even short-term series of droughts and wet years can affect the morphology of species (mean bill-size increasing or decreasing, populations also being seed-size dependent). Another is the Blackcap wintering population in SW England: 40 years ago, there were almost none, now they are common to abundant in places, having changed their SW-S migration route (Bavaria to N Africa) to a NW direction; average wing-length has reduced markedly.

However, temperature-dependence is but one factor driving the 'shape' of the available ecological niche, although probably a major one.
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Old Saturday 26th February 2011, 12:11   #4
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I cant read this article, but surely its not so much a case of could, but a most definite case of will. Climate change is ultimately environmental change, and evolution is very simply environmental adaption, rapid changes in environment exaggerate the pressures on which genetic variation is naturally selected.

Id love to know what it says, but to my post grad biology mind I find it discerning that this should come as a surprise to people.
Not so much coming as a surprise, but with most media coverage being on the immediate effects of climate change, long term effects can easily be overlooked, whether we're around to see them is another matter.
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Old Monday 28th February 2011, 02:28   #5
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Not so much coming as a surprise, but with most media coverage being on the immediate effects of climate change, long term effects can easily be overlooked, whether we're around to see them is another matter.
Yeah so true, I have read this now and its very interesting. The lack of understanding surrounding ecological/geological time is a continual obstacle, but its acknowledgement is a revelation.
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