How Climate Can Drive Evolution – #365papers – 2017 – 63

#365papers for March 4, 2017

Siepielski, and 19 others, 2017, Precipitation drives global variation in natural selection: Science, v. 355, p. 959-962.

What’s it about?

The researchers here used statistical tests and models to determine which factors of climate (temperature, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration [PET]) correlated to adaptive changes (such as changes in shape) of organisms. They looked at this for species in one area over time, and also for the same species in many areas at the same time.

Why does it matter?

We’re living in a world influenced by rapid climate change. Understanding what aspects of climate will have impacts on adaptive changes, and therefore perhaps rapid evolution or extinction if the organisms can’t change quickly enough, is really important.

Why did I read this?

I’m interested in how climate, and more specifically climate change, affects organisms. A lot of my research involves determining the timing and amount of past precipitation, so I wanted to see how this might relate to my work.

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