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Science. 2003 Jul 4;301(5629):100-2.

Low potential for climatic stress adaptation in a rainforest Drosophila species.

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  • 1Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086, Australia. A.Hoffmann@latrobe.edu.au

Abstract

The ability of sensitive rainforest species to evolve in response to climate change is largely unknown. We show that the Australian tropical rainforest fly Drosophila birchii exhibits clinal variation in desiccation resistance, but the most resistant population lacks the ability to evolve further resistance even after intense selection for over 30 generations. Parent-offspring comparisons indicate low heritable variation for this trait but high levels of genetic variation for morphology. D. birchii also exhibits abundant genetic variation at microsatellite loci. The low potential for resistance evolution highlights the importance of assessing evolutionary potential in targeted ecological traits and species from threatened habitats.

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PMID:
12843394
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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