Biotech Updates

Climate Change Could Change Rates of Evolution

February 4, 2011

Scientists have been wondering if evolution of plants and animals can cope up with the fast-paced climate change that occurs in the environment. Arild Husby from the University of Edinburg and colleagues conducted a study to understand how changing temperatures affect both natural selection and genetic variance in traits of great tits (Parus major) populations.

Results of the study suggest that "rising temperatures could potentially accelerate rates of evolutionary response. Yet despite its apparent potential for faster rates of adaptation, this population has declined over the decades studied—probably because the timing of reproduction is no longer in sync with the peak abundance of their caterpillar diet."

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