Climate change and evolutionary adaptation

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biodiversity
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Climate Change* / mortality
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Gene Flow
  • Phylogeny