EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium
Volume 7, Issue 1, 2015
Too hot to handle: Climate change and Adaptive evolution in vertebrates
Jaime J. Coon & Wiline M. Pangle
Adaptability is crucial to life on earth, providing an avenue for populations to change when environments change. Anthropomorphic disturbance, including climate change, is altering and often destroying habitats at a faster rate than ever before. However, evolution may be a potential mitigating factor in these scenarios. Can microevolution respond to human-caused climate change? My review of the scientific literature in this area has shown that while an evolutionary approach to conservation biology is warranted, scientists do not agree on how to evaluate conservation concerns from an evolutionary perspective. Further, evolutionary principles have not often been incorporated into conservation research or policy. Few concrete examples exist of adaptive evolution at work in organisms impacted by climate-change. Disentangling the sometimes contradicting effects of climate change in addition to differentiating the roles of adaptive evolution and phenotypic plasticity on populations is currently a major struggle for evolutionary biologists. As a future conservation biologist interested in ecological restoration, it is important that I learn how to integrate evolutionary perspectives into my work, potentially harnessing evolutionary resilience as a management tool while continuing to explore the boundaries and intersections between ecological, phenotypic, and evolutionary responses.
How to cite this article:
Coon, J. J., & Pangle, W. M. (2015). Too hot to handle: Climate change and Adaptive evolution in vertebrates. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 7(1), 1-9.