Navigation Links
Can evolution outpace climate change?
Date:6/8/2011

Animals and plants may not be able to evolve their way out of the threat posed by climate change, according to a UC Davis study of a tiny seashore animal. The work was published today (June 8) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The tide pool copepod Tigriopus californicus is found from Alaska to Baja California but in a unique lab study, the animals showed little ability to evolve heat tolerance.

"This is a question a lot of scientists have been talking about," said study co-author Eric Sanford, an associate professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis and a researcher at the university's Bodega Marine Laboratory. "Do organisms have the ability to adapt to climate change on a timescale of decades?"

UC Davis graduate student Morgan Kelly, the first author of the paper, collected copepods from eight locations between Oregon and Baja California in Mexico. The tiny shrimplike animals, about a millimeter long, live in tide pools on rocky outcrops high in the splash zone.

Kelly grew the short-lived copepods in the lab for 10 generations, subjecting them to increased heat stress to select for more heat-tolerant animals.

At the outset, copepods from different locations showed wide variability in heat tolerance. But within those populations, Kelly was able to coax only about a half-degree Celsius (about one degree Fahrenheit) of increased heat tolerance over 10 generations. And in most groups, the increase in heat tolerance had hit a plateau before that point.

In the wild, these copepods can withstand a temperature swing of 20 degrees Celsius a day, Kelly said. But they may be living at the edge of their tolerance, she said.

Although the copepods are widespread geographically, individual populations are very isolated, confined to a single rocky outcrop where wave splash can carry them between pools. That means there is very little flow of new genes across the population as a whole.

"It's been assumed that widespread species have a lot of genetic capacity to work with, but this study shows that may not be so," said co-author Rick Grosberg, professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis. Many other species of animals, birds and plants face stress from climate change, and their habitats have also been fragmented by human activity -- perhaps more than we realize, he said.

"The critical point is that many organisms are already at their environmental limits, and natural selection won't necessarily rescue them," Grosberg said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Worm genome offers clues to evolution of parasitism
2. Advance offers revolution in food safety testing
3. Mass extinctions and the evolution of dinosaurs
4. Egalitarian revolution in the Pleistocene?
5. Reproducing early and often is the key to rapid evolution in plants
6. Illuminating biology: An evolutionary perspective
7. Biologists, educators recognize excellence in evolution education
8. Revealing the evolutionary history of threatened sea turtles
9. Details of evolutionary transition from fish to land animals revealed
10. Genetic based human diseases are an ancient evolutionary legacy
11. Wake Forest plays integral role in effort to revolutionize vehicle safety
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Can evolution outpace climate change?
(Date:12/22/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Dec. 20, 2016  As ... all levels, 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, recently released ... Only Me . The book focuses on the topics ... the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school ... the second in a series by illustrator Ariana Killoran ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016   Valencell , ... technology, and STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global ... electronics applications, announced today the launch of a ... biometric wearables that includes ST,s compact SensorTile ... Benchmark™ biometric sensor system. Together, SensorTile and ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... to 2021" report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle access system market, ... of 14.06% from 2016 to 2021. The market is estimated to ... 854.8 Million by 2021. The growth of the biometric vehicle access ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... Jan. 20, 2017 Ginkgo Bioworks, the ... a pioneer in the synthesis and assembly of ... in assembling pathway-length synthetic DNA into Ginkgo,s automated ... in the construction of new organism designs for ... "Gen9 was founded to significantly increase the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and HOUSTON , Jan. ... Prenatal") today announced the formation of its Medical/Clinical ... clinicians and industry veterans who enhance the range ... it accelerates development of its novel prenatal diagnostic ... medical, clinical and strategic guidance for the company,s ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting infectious diseases, announced ... the merger of PharmAthene and Altimmune in an ... Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and Redmont Capital. The ... immunotherapeutics company with four clinical stage and one ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... FireflySci Inc. is a go-getter ... The tremendous growth is accounted to two main factors. The first is the ... network of vendors supplying FireflySci products all around the world. , 2016 was a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: