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:6/14/2017)... 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several ... dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking ... During the event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they ... industries. France is ... with a 30 percent increase in the number of startups ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... -- Janice Kephart , former 9/11 Commission ... LLP (IdSP) , today issues the following statement: ... 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the Nation ... instilled with greater confidence, enabling the reactivation of ... are suspended by until at least July 2017). ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 According to a ... Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment ... the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in ... Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... OXFORD, England , Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... biotech executive search and leadership development, and Virdis Group, global ... created an exclusive alliance that enables clients to leverage the ... "For our clients here in the ... to a diverse population of leadership talent throughout the US, ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Any expert in stem cell research or stem cell medicine ... half a century. Despite their essential roles in human health and regenerative medicine, ... tags developed for this purpose also tag other, more abundant, non-stem tissue cells ( ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... characterized and performing antibodies. Key researchers in the antibody community have recently come ... and consistency for antibodies in the laboratory. , The team at ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... August 11, 2017 , ... Algenist continues to disrupt the skincare industry with ... before. , Collagen is the key structural element skin needs to maintain its ... include: , First to market with proprietary collagen water ...
Breaking Biology Technology: