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Nature. 2011 Feb 24;470(7335):479-85. doi: 10.1038/nature09670.

Climate change and evolutionary adaptation.

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Departments of Zoology and Genetics, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.


Evolutionary adaptation can be rapid and potentially help species counter stressful conditions or realize ecological opportunities arising from climate change. The challenges are to understand when evolution will occur and to identify potential evolutionary winners as well as losers, such as species lacking adaptive capacity living near physiological limits. Evolutionary processes also need to be incorporated into management programmes designed to minimize biodiversity loss under rapid climate change. These challenges can be met through realistic models of evolutionary change linked to experimental data across a range of taxa.

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