Prospects & Overviews
Evolution in response to climate change: In pursuit of the missing evidence
Article first published online: 11 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 34, Issue 9, pages 811–818, September 2012
How to Cite
Merilä, J. (2012), Evolution in response to climate change: In pursuit of the missing evidence. Bioessays, 34: 811–818. doi: 10.1002/bies.201200054
- Issue published online: 14 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 11 JUL 2012
- climate change;
- genetic variation
Climate change is imposing intensified and novel selection pressures on organisms by altering abiotic and biotic environmental conditions on Earth, but studies demonstrating genetic adaptation to climate change mediated selection are still scarce. Evidence is accumulating to indicate that both genetic and ecological constrains may often limit populations' abilities to adapt to large scale effects of climate warming. These constraints may predispose many organisms to respond to climate change with range shifts and phenotypic plasticity, rather than through evolutionary adaptation. In general, broad conclusions about the role of evolutionary adaptation in mitigating climate change induced fitness loss in the wild are as yet difficult to make.
Editor's suggested further reading in BioEssays: How will fish that evolved at constant sub-zero temperatures cope with global warming? Notothenioids as a case study Abstract