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Sample records for adaptive evolutionary change

  1. Evolutionary adaptations to dietary changes.

    PubMed

    Luca, F; Perry, G H; Di Rienzo, A

    2010-08-21

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human populations. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major dietary shifts that occurred during hominin evolution, and we discuss the methods and approaches used to identify signals of natural selection in patterns of sequence variation. We then review the results of studies aimed at detecting the genetic loci that played a major role in dietary adaptations and conclude by outlining the potential of future studies in this area.

  2. Evolutionary Adaptations to Dietary Changes

    PubMed Central

    Luca, F.; Perry, G.H.; Di Rienzo, A.

    2014-01-01

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human populations. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major dietary shifts that occurred during hominin evolution, and we discuss the methods and approaches used to identify signals of natural selection in patterns of sequence variation. We then review the results of studies aimed at detecting the genetic loci that played a major role in dietary adaptations and conclude by outlining the potential of future studies in this area. PMID:20420525

  3. Evolutionary adaptation of marine zooplankton to global change.

    PubMed

    Dam, Hans G

    2013-01-01

    Predicting the response of the biota to global change remains a formidable endeavor. Zooplankton face challenges related to global warming, ocean acidification, the proliferation of toxic algal blooms, and increasing pollution, eutrophication, and hypoxia. They can respond to these changes by phenotypic plasticity or genetic adaptation. Using the concept of the evolution of reaction norms, I address how adaptive responses can be unequivocally discerned from phenotypic plasticity. To date, relatively few zooplankton studies have been designed for such a purpose. As case studies, I review the evidence for zooplankton adaptation to toxic algal blooms, hypoxia, and climate change. Predicting the response of zooplankton to global change requires new information to determine (a) the trade-offs and costs of adaptation, (b) the rates of evolution versus environmental change, (c) the consequences of adaptation to stochastic or cyclic (toxic algal blooms, coastal hypoxia) versus directional (temperature, acidification, open ocean hypoxia) environmental change, and (d) the interaction of selective pressures, and evolutionary and ecological processes, in promoting or hindering adaptation.

  4. Climate change and evolutionary adaptations at species' range margins.

    PubMed

    Hill, Jane K; Griffiths, Hannah M; Thomas, Chris D

    2011-01-01

    During recent climate warming, many insect species have shifted their ranges to higher latitudes and altitudes. These expansions mirror those that occurred after the Last Glacial Maximum when species expanded from their ice age refugia. Postglacial range expansions have resulted in clines in genetic diversity across present-day distributions, with a reduction in genetic diversity observed in a wide range of insect taxa as one moves from the historical distribution core to the current range margin. Evolutionary increases in dispersal at expanding range boundaries are commonly observed in virtually all insects that have been studied, suggesting a positive feedback between range expansion and the evolution of traits that accelerate range expansion. The ubiquity of this phenomenon suggests that it is likely to be an important determinant of range changes. A better understanding of the extent and speed of adaptation will be crucial to the responses of biodiversity and ecosystems to climate change.

  5. The evolutionary time machine: forecasting how populations can adapt to changing environments using dormant propagules

    PubMed Central

    Orsini, Luisa; Schwenk, Klaus; De Meester, Luc; Colbourne, John K.; Pfrender, Michael E.; Weider, Lawrence J.

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary changes are determined by a complex assortment of ecological, demographic and adaptive histories. Predicting how evolution will shape the genetic structures of populations coping with current (and future) environmental challenges has principally relied on investigations through space, in lieu of time, because long-term phenotypic and molecular data are scarce. Yet, dormant propagules in sediments, soils and permafrost are convenient natural archives of population-histories from which to trace adaptive trajectories along extended time periods. DNA sequence data obtained from these natural archives, combined with pioneering methods for analyzing both ecological and population genomic time-series data, are likely to provide predictive models to forecast evolutionary responses of natural populations to environmental changes resulting from natural and anthropogenic stressors, including climate change. PMID:23395434

  6. Improving the adaptability of simulated evolutionary swarm robots in dynamically changing environments.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yao; Marchal, Kathleen; Van de Peer, Yves

    2014-01-01

    One of the important challenges in the field of evolutionary robotics is the development of systems that can adapt to a changing environment. However, the ability to adapt to unknown and fluctuating environments is not straightforward. Here, we explore the adaptive potential of simulated swarm robots that contain a genomic encoding of a bio-inspired gene regulatory network (GRN). An artificial genome is combined with a flexible agent-based system, representing the activated part of the regulatory network that transduces environmental cues into phenotypic behaviour. Using an artificial life simulation framework that mimics a dynamically changing environment, we show that separating the static from the conditionally active part of the network contributes to a better adaptive behaviour. Furthermore, in contrast with most hitherto developed ANN-based systems that need to re-optimize their complete controller network from scratch each time they are subjected to novel conditions, our system uses its genome to store GRNs whose performance was optimized under a particular environmental condition for a sufficiently long time. When subjected to a new environment, the previous condition-specific GRN might become inactivated, but remains present. This ability to store 'good behaviour' and to disconnect it from the novel rewiring that is essential under a new condition allows faster re-adaptation if any of the previously observed environmental conditions is reencountered. As we show here, applying these evolutionary-based principles leads to accelerated and improved adaptive evolution in a non-stable environment.

  7. Evolutionary tipping points in the capacity to adapt to environmental change

    PubMed Central

    Botero, Carlos A.; Weissing, Franz J.; Wright, Jonathan; Rubenstein, Dustin R.

    2015-01-01

    In an era of rapid climate change, there is a pressing need to understand how organisms will cope with faster and less predictable variation in environmental conditions. Here we develop a unifying model that predicts evolutionary responses to environmentally driven fluctuating selection and use this theoretical framework to explore the potential consequences of altered environmental cycles. We first show that the parameter space determined by different combinations of predictability and timescale of environmental variation is partitioned into distinct regions where a single mode of response (reversible phenotypic plasticity, irreversible phenotypic plasticity, bet-hedging, or adaptive tracking) has a clear selective advantage over all others. We then demonstrate that, although significant environmental changes within these regions can be accommodated by evolution, most changes that involve transitions between regions result in rapid population collapse and often extinction. Thus, the boundaries between response mode regions in our model correspond to evolutionary tipping points, where even minor changes in environmental parameters can have dramatic and disproportionate consequences on population viability. Finally, we discuss how different life histories and genetic architectures may influence the location of tipping points in parameter space and the likelihood of extinction during such transitions. These insights can help identify and address some of the cryptic threats to natural populations that are likely to result from any natural or human-induced change in environmental conditions. They also demonstrate the potential value of evolutionary thinking in the study of global climate change. PMID:25422451

  8. Evolutionary tipping points in the capacity to adapt to environmental change.

    PubMed

    Botero, Carlos A; Weissing, Franz J; Wright, Jonathan; Rubenstein, Dustin R

    2015-01-06

    In an era of rapid climate change, there is a pressing need to understand how organisms will cope with faster and less predictable variation in environmental conditions. Here we develop a unifying model that predicts evolutionary responses to environmentally driven fluctuating selection and use this theoretical framework to explore the potential consequences of altered environmental cycles. We first show that the parameter space determined by different combinations of predictability and timescale of environmental variation is partitioned into distinct regions where a single mode of response (reversible phenotypic plasticity, irreversible phenotypic plasticity, bet-hedging, or adaptive tracking) has a clear selective advantage over all others. We then demonstrate that, although significant environmental changes within these regions can be accommodated by evolution, most changes that involve transitions between regions result in rapid population collapse and often extinction. Thus, the boundaries between response mode regions in our model correspond to evolutionary tipping points, where even minor changes in environmental parameters can have dramatic and disproportionate consequences on population viability. Finally, we discuss how different life histories and genetic architectures may influence the location of tipping points in parameter space and the likelihood of extinction during such transitions. These insights can help identify and address some of the cryptic threats to natural populations that are likely to result from any natural or human-induced change in environmental conditions. They also demonstrate the potential value of evolutionary thinking in the study of global climate change.

  9. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, adaptive dynamics and evolutionary rescue theory.

    PubMed

    Ferriere, Regis; Legendre, Stéphane

    2013-01-19

    Adaptive dynamics theory has been devised to account for feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. Doing so opens new dimensions to and raises new challenges about evolutionary rescue. Adaptive dynamics theory predicts that successive trait substitutions driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks can gradually erode population size or growth rate, thus potentially raising the extinction risk. Even a single trait substitution can suffice to degrade population viability drastically at once and cause 'evolutionary suicide'. In a changing environment, a population may track a viable evolutionary attractor that leads to evolutionary suicide, a phenomenon called 'evolutionary trapping'. Evolutionary trapping and suicide are commonly observed in adaptive dynamics models in which the smooth variation of traits causes catastrophic changes in ecological state. In the face of trapping and suicide, evolutionary rescue requires that the population overcome evolutionary threats generated by the adaptive process itself. Evolutionary repellors play an important role in determining how variation in environmental conditions correlates with the occurrence of evolutionary trapping and suicide, and what evolutionary pathways rescue may follow. In contrast with standard predictions of evolutionary rescue theory, low genetic variation may attenuate the threat of evolutionary suicide and small population sizes may facilitate escape from evolutionary traps.

  10. Exaptation, adaptation, and evolutionary psychology.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Armin

    2013-01-01

    One of the most well known methodological criticisms of evolutionary psychology is Gould's claim that the program pays too much attention to adaptations, and not enough to exaptations. Almost as well known is the standard rebuttal of that criticism: namely, that the study of exaptations in fact depends on the study of adaptations. However, as I try to show in this paper, it is premature to think that this is where this debate ends. First, the notion of exaptation that is commonly used in this debate is different from the one that Gould and Vrba originally defined. Noting this is particularly important, since, second, the standard reply to Gould's criticism only works if the criticism is framed in terms of the former notion of exaptation, and not the latter. However, third, this ultimately does not change the outcome of the debate much, as evolutionary psychologists can respond to the revamped criticism of their program by claiming that the original notion of exaptation is theoretically and empirically uninteresting. By discussing these issues further, I also seek to determine, more generally, which ways of approaching the adaptationism debate in evolutionary biology are useful, and which not.

  11. Adaptive immunity increases the pace and predictability of evolutionary change in commensal gut bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Barroso-Batista, João; Demengeot, Jocelyne; Gordo, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Co-evolution between the mammalian immune system and the gut microbiota is believed to have shaped the microbiota's astonishing diversity. Here we test the corollary hypothesis that the adaptive immune system, directly or indirectly, influences the evolution of commensal species. We compare the evolution of Escherichia coli upon colonization of the gut of wild-type and Rag2−/− mice, which lack lymphocytes. We show that bacterial adaptation is slower in immune-compromised animals, a phenomenon explained by differences in the action of natural selection within each host. Emerging mutations exhibit strong beneficial effects in healthy hosts but substantial antagonistic pleiotropy in immune-deficient mice. This feature is due to changes in the composition of the gut microbiota, which differs according to the immune status of the host. Our results indicate that the adaptive immune system influences the tempo and predictability of E. coli adaptation to the mouse gut. PMID:26615893

  12. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation.

    PubMed

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-04-12

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of 'natural pedagogy' in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by communication in any other species apart from humans. Second, natural pedagogy is universal: despite the huge variability in child-rearing practices, all human cultures rely on communication to transmit to novices a variety of different types of cultural knowledge, including information about artefact kinds, conventional behaviours, arbitrary referential symbols, cognitively opaque skills and know-how embedded in means-end actions. Third, the data available on early hominin technological culture are more compatible with the assumption that natural pedagogy was an independently selected adaptive cognitive system than considering it as a by-product of some other human-specific adaptation, such as language. By providing a qualitatively new type of social learning mechanism, natural pedagogy is not only the product but also one of the sources of the rich cultural heritage of our species.

  13. Evolutionary advantages of adaptive rewarding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szolnoki, Attila; Perc, Matjaž

    2012-09-01

    Our well-being depends on both our personal success and the success of our society. The realization of this fact makes cooperation an essential trait. Experiments have shown that rewards can elevate our readiness to cooperate, but since giving a reward inevitably entails paying a cost for it, the emergence and stability of such behavior remains elusive. Here we show that allowing for the act of rewarding to self-organize in dependence on the success of cooperation creates several evolutionary advantages that instill new ways through which collaborative efforts are promoted. Ranging from indirect territorial battle to the spontaneous emergence and destruction of coexistence, phase diagrams and the underlying spatial patterns reveal fascinatingly rich social dynamics that explain why this costly behavior has evolved and persevered. Comparisons with adaptive punishment, however, uncover an Achilles heel of adaptive rewarding, coming from over-aggression, which in turn hinders optimal utilization of network reciprocity. This may explain why, despite its success, rewarding is not as firmly embedded into our societal organization as punishment.

  14. Teaching about Adaptation: Why Evolutionary History Matters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kampourakis, Kostas

    2013-01-01

    Adaptation is one of the central concepts in evolutionary theory, which nonetheless has been given different definitions. Some scholars support a historical definition of adaptation, considering it as a trait that is the outcome of natural selection, whereas others support an ahistorical definition, considering it as a trait that contributes to…

  15. Indirect evolutionary rescue: prey adapts, predator avoids extinction.

    PubMed

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies have increasingly recognized evolutionary rescue (adaptive evolution that prevents extinction following environmental change) as an important process in evolutionary biology and conservation science. Researchers have concentrated on single species living in isolation, but populations in nature exist within communities of interacting species, so evolutionary rescue should also be investigated in a multispecies context. We argue that the persistence or extinction of a focal species can be determined solely by evolutionary change in an interacting species. We demonstrate that prey adaptive evolution can prevent predator extinction in two-species predator-prey models, and we derive the conditions under which this indirect evolutionary interaction is essential to prevent extinction following environmental change. A nonevolving predator can be rescued from extinction by adaptive evolution of its prey due to a trade-off for the prey between defense against predation and population growth rate. As prey typically have larger populations and shorter generations than their predators, prey evolution can be rapid and have profound effects on predator population dynamics. We suggest that this process, which we term 'indirect evolutionary rescue', has the potential to be critically important to the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations and communities to dramatic environmental change.

  16. Historical change and evolutionary theory.

    PubMed

    Masters, Roger D

    2007-09-01

    Despite advances in fields like genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human behavior and evolution--which generally focus on individual or small group behavior from a biological perspective--evolutionary biology has made little impact on studies of political change and social history. Theories of natural selection often seem inapplicable to human history because our social behavior is embedded in language (which makes possible the concepts of time and social identity on which what we call "history" depends). Peter Corning's Holistic Darwinism reconceptualizes evolutionary biology, making it possible to go beyond the barriers separating the social and natural sciences. Corning focuses on two primary processes: "synergy" (complex multivariate interactions at multiple levels between a species and its environment) and "cybernetics" (the information systems permitting communication between individuals and groups over time). Combining this frame of reference with inclusive fitness theory, it is possible to answer the most important (and puzzling) question in human history: How did a species that lived for millennia in hunter-gatherer bands form centralized states governing large populations of non-kin (including multi-ethnic empires as well as modern nation-states)? The fragility and contemporary ethnic violence in Kenya and the Congo should suffice as evidence that these issues need to be taken seriously. To explain the rise and fall of states as well as changes in human laws and customs--the core of historical research--it is essential to show how the provision of collective goods can overcome the challenge of self-interest and free-riding in some instances, yet fail to do so in others. To this end, it is now possible to consider how a state providing public goods can--under circumstances that often include effective leadership--contribute to enhanced inclusive fitness of virtually all its members. Because social behavior needs to adapt to ecology, but ecological

  17. Reactive attachment disorder as an evolutionary adaptation.

    PubMed

    Balbernie, Robin

    2010-05-01

    This paper suggests that the behaviours associated with the formal diagnosis of the "disinhibited" form of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) might be seen as a functional adaptation rather than a mental health problem, a facultative response enhancing the probability of survival that is triggered by certain conditions. Although disinhibited RAD is most commonly observed in institutionalised children, similar behaviours may also be a part of the emotional difficulties displayed by some fostered and adopted children (the latter includes those once institutionalised), and these may demonstrate not so much a discrete attachment disorder as either the need to fend for oneself following loss of dedicated caregiving or a lack of opportunity to build specific intimate relationships with dedicated caregivers. In many cases this may be inextricably mixed with the neurobiological and psychological seqelae of maltreatment. Indiscriminate attachment behaviour, from this proposed evolutionary perspective, is less a syndrome of mental ill-health than an astute survival manoeuvre following being orphaned, abandoned or fecklessly reared. Such a response, allied to the innate facility to access caregiving from different adults, could be expected to be initiated by specific events as are the other attachment configurations. Classing disinhibited RAD as an adaptation has implications for helping children brought up under extreme duress when their caregiving environment has changed for the better.

  18. Adaptation and habitat selection in the eco-evolutionary process.

    PubMed

    Morris, Douglas W

    2011-08-22

    The struggle for existence occurs through the vital rates of population growth. This basic fact demonstrates the tight connection between ecology and evolution that defines the emerging field of eco-evolutionary dynamics. An effective synthesis of the interdependencies between ecology and evolution is grounded in six principles. The mechanics of evolution specifies the origin and rules governing traits and evolutionary strategies. Traits and evolutionary strategies achieve their selective value through their functional relationships with fitness. Function depends on the underlying structure of variation and the temporal, spatial and organizational scales of evolution. An understanding of how changes in traits and strategies occur requires conjoining ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Adaptation merges these five pillars to achieve a comprehensive understanding of ecological and evolutionary change. I demonstrate the value of this world-view with reference to the theory and practice of habitat selection. The theory allows us to assess evolutionarily stable strategies and states of habitat selection, and to draw the adaptive landscapes for habitat-selecting species. The landscapes can then be used to forecast future evolution under a variety of climate change and other scenarios.

  19. Contemporary climate change and terrestrial invertebrates: evolutionary versus plastic changes

    PubMed Central

    Schilthuizen, Menno; Kellermann, Vanessa

    2014-01-01

    To forecast the responses of species to future climate change, an understanding of the ability of species to adapt to long-term shifts in temperature is crucial. We present a review on evolutionary adaptation and phenotypic plasticity of temperature-related traits in terrestrial invertebrates. The evidence for adaptive evolution in melanization is good, but we caution that genetic determination needs to be tested in each individual species, and complex genetic correlations may exist. For phenological traits allochronic data sets provide powerful means to track climate-induced changes; however, rarely are responses deconstructed into evolutionary and plastic responses. Laboratory studies suggest climate change responses in these traits will be driven by both. For stress resistance, the evidence for shifts in traits is poor. Studies leaning heavily on Drosophila have demonstrated potential limits to evolutionary responses in desiccation and heat resistance. Quantifying the capacity for these species to respond plastically and extending this work to other taxa will be an important next step. We also note that, although not strictly speaking a species trait, the response of endosymbionts to heat stress requires further study. Finally, while clearly genetic, and possibly adaptive, the anonymous nature of latitudinal shifts in clines of genetic markers in Drosophila prevents further interpretation. PMID:24454548

  20. Evolutionary processes and mother-child attachment in intentional change.

    PubMed

    Ho, S Shaun; Torres-Garcia, Adrianna; Swain, James E

    2014-08-01

    Behavioral change may occur through evolutionary processes such as running stochastic evolutionary algorithms, with a fitness function to determine a winning solution from many. A science of intentional change will therefore require identification of fitness functions - causal mechanisms of adaptation - that can be acquired only with analytical approaches. Fitness functions may be subject to early-life experiences with parents, which influence some of the very same brain circuits that may mediate behavioral change through interventions.

  1. Risk sensitivity as an evolutionary adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hintze, Arend; Olson, Randal S.; Adami, Christoph; Hertwig, Ralph

    2015-02-01

    Risk aversion is a common behavior universal to humans and animals alike. Economists have traditionally defined risk preferences by the curvature of the utility function. Psychologists and behavioral economists also make use of concepts such as loss aversion and probability weighting to model risk aversion. Neurophysiological evidence suggests that loss aversion has its origins in relatively ancient neural circuitries (e.g., ventral striatum). Could there thus be an evolutionary origin to risk aversion? We study this question by evolving strategies that adapt to play the equivalent mean payoff gamble. We hypothesize that risk aversion in this gamble is beneficial as an adaptation to living in small groups, and find that a preference for risk averse strategies only evolves in small populations of less than 1,000 individuals, or in populations segmented into groups of 150 individuals or fewer - numbers thought to be comparable to what humans encountered in the past. We observe that risk aversion only evolves when the gamble is a rare event that has a large impact on the individual's fitness. As such, we suggest that rare, high-risk, high-payoff events such as mating and mate competition could have driven the evolution of risk averse behavior in humans living in small groups.

  2. Biodiversity inhibits species' evolutionary responses to changing environments.

    PubMed

    de Mazancourt, C; Johnson, E; Barraclough, T G

    2008-04-01

    Despite growing interplay between ecological and evolutionary studies, the question of how biodiversity influences evolutionary dynamics within species remains understudied. Here, using a classical model of phenotypic evolution in species occupying a patchy environment, but introducing global change affecting patch conditions, we show that biodiversity can inhibit species' evolution during global change. The presence of several species increases the chance that one or more species are pre-adapted to new conditions, which restricts the ecological opportunity for evolutionary responses in all the species. Consequently, environmental change tends to select for changes in species abundances rather than for changing phenotypes within each species. The buffering effects of species diversity that we describe might be one important but neglected explanation for widely observed niche conservatism in natural systems. Furthermore, the results show that attempts to understand biotic responses to environmental change need to consider both ecological and evolutionary processes in a realistically diverse setting.

  3. Evolutionary change in physiological phenotypes along the human lineage

    PubMed Central

    Vining, Alexander Q.; Nunn, Charles L.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Research in evolutionary medicine provides many examples of how evolution has shaped human susceptibility to disease. Traits undergoing rapid evolutionary change may result in associated costs or reduce the energy available to other traits. We hypothesize that humans have experienced more such changes than other primates as a result of major evolutionary change along the human lineage. We investigated 41 physiological traits across 50 primate species to identify traits that have undergone marked evolutionary change along the human lineage. Methodology: We analysed the data using two Bayesian phylogenetic comparative methods. One approach models trait covariation in non-human primates and predicts human phenotypes to identify whether humans are evolutionary outliers. The other approach models adaptive shifts under an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of evolution to assess whether inferred shifts are more common on the human branch than on other primate lineages. Results: We identified four traits with strong evidence for an evolutionary increase on the human lineage (amylase, haematocrit, phosphorus and monocytes) and one trait with strong evidence for decrease (neutrophilic bands). Humans exhibited more cases of distinct evolutionary change than other primates. Conclusions and Implications: Human physiology has undergone increased evolutionary change compared to other primates. Long distance running may have contributed to increases in haematocrit and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, while dietary changes are likely related to increases in amylase. In accordance with the pathogen load hypothesis, human monocyte levels were increased, but many other immune-related measures were not. Determining the mechanisms underlying conspicuous evolutionary change in these traits may provide new insights into human disease. PMID:27615376

  4. Bioavailability of Metal Ions and Evolutionary Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Hong Enriquez, Rolando P.; Do, Trang N.

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of life on earth has been a long process that began nearly 3.5 × 109 years ago. In their initial moments, evolution was mainly influenced by anaerobic environments; with the rise of O2 and the corresponding change in bioavailability of metal ions, new mechanisms of survival were created. Here we review the relationships between ancient atmospheric conditions, metal ion bioavailability and adaptation of metals homeostasis during early evolution. A general picture linking geochemistry, biochemistry and homeostasis is supported by the reviewed literature and is further illustrated in this report using simple database searches. PMID:25371266

  5. Addressing the Travelling Salesman Problem through Evolutionary Adaptation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-01-01

    M FILE Cun ARI Research Note 87-04 -- w CM o> < i Q < ADDRESSING THE TRAVELLING SALESMAN PROBLEM THROUGH EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION David B...TITLE raid SubMII«; ’ 1 Addressing the Travelling Salesman Problem 1 Through Evolutionary...1 Optimizing the " travelling salesman" problem continues to

  6. Adaptation to High Ethanol Reveals Complex Evolutionary Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Das, Anupam; Espinosa-Cantú, Adriana; De Maeyer, Dries; Arslan, Ahmed; Van Pee, Michiel; van der Zande, Elisa; Meert, Wim; Yang, Yudi; Zhu, Bo; Marchal, Kathleen; DeLuna, Alexander; Van Noort, Vera; Jelier, Rob; Verstrepen, Kevin J.

    2015-01-01

    Tolerance to high levels of ethanol is an ecologically and industrially relevant phenotype of microbes, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this complex trait remain largely unknown. Here, we use long-term experimental evolution of isogenic yeast populations of different initial ploidy to study adaptation to increasing levels of ethanol. Whole-genome sequencing of more than 30 evolved populations and over 100 adapted clones isolated throughout this two-year evolution experiment revealed how a complex interplay of de novo single nucleotide mutations, copy number variation, ploidy changes, mutator phenotypes, and clonal interference led to a significant increase in ethanol tolerance. Although the specific mutations differ between different evolved lineages, application of a novel computational pipeline, PheNetic, revealed that many mutations target functional modules involved in stress response, cell cycle regulation, DNA repair and respiration. Measuring the fitness effects of selected mutations introduced in non-evolved ethanol-sensitive cells revealed several adaptive mutations that had previously not been implicated in ethanol tolerance, including mutations in PRT1, VPS70 and MEX67. Interestingly, variation in VPS70 was recently identified as a QTL for ethanol tolerance in an industrial bio-ethanol strain. Taken together, our results show how, in contrast to adaptation to some other stresses, adaptation to a continuous complex and severe stress involves interplay of different evolutionary mechanisms. In addition, our study reveals functional modules involved in ethanol resistance and identifies several mutations that could help to improve the ethanol tolerance of industrial yeasts. PMID:26545090

  7. Financing climate change adaptation.

    PubMed

    Bouwer, Laurens M; Aerts, Jeroen C J H

    2006-03-01

    This paper examines the topic of financing adaptation in future climate change policies. A major question is whether adaptation in developing countries should be financed under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or whether funding should come from other sources. We present an overview of financial resources and propose the employment of a two-track approach: one track that attempts to secure climate change adaptation funding under the UNFCCC; and a second track that improves mainstreaming of climate risk management in development efforts. Developed countries would need to demonstrate much greater commitment to the funding of adaptation measures if the UNFCCC were to cover a substantial part of the costs. The mainstreaming of climate change adaptation could follow a risk management path, particularly in relation to disaster risk reduction. 'Climate-proofing' of development projects that currently do not consider climate and weather risks could improve their sustainability.

  8. Research, Adaptation, & Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morris, Lee A., Ed.; And Others

    Research adaptation is an endeavor that implies solid collaboration among school practitioners and university and college researchers. This volume addresses the broad issues of research as an educational endeavor, adaptation as a necessary function associated with applying research findings to school situations, and change as an inevitable…

  9. Predicting evolutionary responses to climate change in the sea.

    PubMed

    Munday, Philip L; Warner, Robert R; Monro, Keyne; Pandolfi, John M; Marshall, Dustin J

    2013-12-01

    An increasing number of short-term experimental studies show significant effects of projected ocean warming and ocean acidification on the performance on marine organisms. Yet, it remains unclear if we can reliably predict the impact of climate change on marine populations and ecosystems, because we lack sufficient understanding of the capacity for marine organisms to adapt to rapid climate change. In this review, we emphasise why an evolutionary perspective is crucial to understanding climate change impacts in the sea and examine the approaches that may be useful for addressing this challenge. We first consider what the geological record and present-day analogues of future climate conditions can tell us about the potential for adaptation to climate change. We also examine evidence that phenotypic plasticity may assist marine species to persist in a rapidly changing climate. We then outline the various experimental approaches that can be used to estimate evolutionary potential, focusing on molecular tools, quantitative genetics, and experimental evolution, and we describe the benefits of combining different approaches to gain a deeper understanding of evolutionary potential. Our goal is to provide a platform for future research addressing the evolutionary potential for marine organisms to cope with climate change.

  10. The role of mitochondrial respiration in physiological and evolutionary adaptation.

    PubMed

    Das, Jayatri

    2006-09-01

    Aerobic mitochondria serve as the power sources of eukaryotes by producing ATP through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). The enzymes involved in OXPHOS are multisubunit complexes encoded by both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Thus, regulation of respiration is necessarily a highly coordinated process that must organize production, assembly and function of mitochondria to meet an organism's energetic needs. Here I review the role of OXPHOS in metabolic adaptation and diversification of higher animals. On a physiological timescale, endocrine-initiated signaling pathways allow organisms to modulate respiratory enzyme concentration and function under changing environmental conditions. On an evolutionary timescale, mitochondrial enzymes are targets of natural selection, balancing cytonuclear coevolutionary constraints against physiological innovation. By synthesizing our knowledge of biochemistry, physiology and evolution of respiratory regulation, I propose that we can now explore questions at the interface of these fields, from molecular translation of environmental cues to selection on mitochondrial haplotype variation.

  11. Adaptive evolutionary artificial neural networks for pattern classification.

    PubMed

    Oong, Tatt Hee; Isa, Nor Ashidi Mat

    2011-11-01

    This paper presents a new evolutionary approach called the hybrid evolutionary artificial neural network (HEANN) for simultaneously evolving an artificial neural networks (ANNs) topology and weights. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) with strong global search capabilities are likely to provide the most promising region. However, they are less efficient in fine-tuning the search space locally. HEANN emphasizes the balancing of the global search and local search for the evolutionary process by adapting the mutation probability and the step size of the weight perturbation. This is distinguishable from most previous studies that incorporate EA to search for network topology and gradient learning for weight updating. Four benchmark functions were used to test the evolutionary framework of HEANN. In addition, HEANN was tested on seven classification benchmark problems from the UCI machine learning repository. Experimental results show the superior performance of HEANN in fine-tuning the network complexity within a small number of generations while preserving the generalization capability compared with other algorithms.

  12. Simulation of Biochemical Pathway Adaptability Using Evolutionary Algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    Bosl, W J

    2005-01-26

    The systems approach to genomics seeks quantitative and predictive descriptions of cells and organisms. However, both the theoretical and experimental methods necessary for such studies still need to be developed. We are far from understanding even the simplest collective behavior of biomolecules, cells or organisms. A key aspect to all biological problems, including environmental microbiology, evolution of infectious diseases, and the adaptation of cancer cells is the evolvability of genomes. This is particularly important for Genomes to Life missions, which tend to focus on the prospect of engineering microorganisms to achieve desired goals in environmental remediation and climate change mitigation, and energy production. All of these will require quantitative tools for understanding the evolvability of organisms. Laboratory biodefense goals will need quantitative tools for predicting complicated host-pathogen interactions and finding counter-measures. In this project, we seek to develop methods to simulate how external and internal signals cause the genetic apparatus to adapt and organize to produce complex biochemical systems to achieve survival. This project is specifically directed toward building a computational methodology for simulating the adaptability of genomes. This project investigated the feasibility of using a novel quantitative approach to studying the adaptability of genomes and biochemical pathways. This effort was intended to be the preliminary part of a larger, long-term effort between key leaders in computational and systems biology at Harvard University and LLNL, with Dr. Bosl as the lead PI. Scientific goals for the long-term project include the development and testing of new hypotheses to explain the observed adaptability of yeast biochemical pathways when the myosin-II gene is deleted and the development of a novel data-driven evolutionary computation as a way to connect exploratory computational simulation with hypothesis

  13. Evolutionary orbital period change in BH Virginis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebrehiwot, Y. M.; Tessema, S. B.; Berdnikov, L. N.

    2017-04-01

    The study of orbital period change of close binaries, such as BH Virginis (BH Vir), using very long time baseline is vital to understand evolutionary processes of the system. In this paper, we use photometric data to analyze the evolutionary orbital period change of the short period RS CVn-type binary system, BH Vir, with a time baseline spanning 123 years. We used the software version of the Hertzsprung method to describe the O-C curve of the system, and we found that the orbital period secularly decreases at a rate of dp/dt=-(0.0013000 ± 0.0000863) s yr^{-1}. Because BH Vir is a typical detached binary system and both components are late type (G0 V + G2 V) stars, the evolutionary period change could be caused by the angular momentum loss due to tides coupled with magnetic breaking.

  14. Evolutionary conservation—evaluating the adaptive potential of species

    PubMed Central

    Eizaguirre, Christophe; Baltazar-Soares, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Despite intense efforts, biodiversity around the globe continues to decrease. To cease this phenomenon, we urgently need a better knowledge not only of the true extent of biodiversity, but also of the evolutionary potential of species to respond to environmental change. These aims are the heart of the developing field of Evolutionary conservation. Here, after describing problems associated with implementing evolutionary perspectives into management, we outline how evolutionary principles can contribute to efficient conservation programmes. We then introduce articles from this special issue on Evolutionary conservation, outlining how each study or review provides tools and concepts to contribute to efficient management of species or populations. Ultimately, we highlight what we believe can be future research avenues for evolutionary conservation.

  15. An Evolutionary Dynamics Model Adapted to Eusocial Insects

    PubMed Central

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Cerdá, Xim; Bernstein, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to better understand the evolutionary processes allowing species coexistence in eusocial insect communities. We develop a mathematical model that applies adaptive dynamics theory to the evolutionary dynamics of eusocial insects, focusing on the colony as the unit of selection. The model links long-term evolutionary processes to ecological interactions among colonies and seasonal worker production within the colony. Colony population dynamics is defined by both worker production and colony reproduction. Random mutations occur in strategies, and mutant colonies enter the community. The interactions of colonies at the ecological timescale drive the evolution of strategies at the evolutionary timescale by natural selection. This model is used to study two specific traits in ants: worker body size and the degree of collective foraging. For both traits, trade-offs in competitive ability and other fitness components allows to determine conditions in which selection becomes disruptive. Our results illustrate that asymmetric competition underpins diversity in ant communities. PMID:23469162

  16. An evolutionary dynamics model adapted to eusocial insects.

    PubMed

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Cerdá, Xim; Bernstein, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to better understand the evolutionary processes allowing species coexistence in eusocial insect communities. We develop a mathematical model that applies adaptive dynamics theory to the evolutionary dynamics of eusocial insects, focusing on the colony as the unit of selection. The model links long-term evolutionary processes to ecological interactions among colonies and seasonal worker production within the colony. Colony population dynamics is defined by both worker production and colony reproduction. Random mutations occur in strategies, and mutant colonies enter the community. The interactions of colonies at the ecological timescale drive the evolution of strategies at the evolutionary timescale by natural selection. This model is used to study two specific traits in ants: worker body size and the degree of collective foraging. For both traits, trade-offs in competitive ability and other fitness components allows to determine conditions in which selection becomes disruptive. Our results illustrate that asymmetric competition underpins diversity in ant communities.

  17. Mega-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive radiation of birds.

    PubMed

    Cooney, Christopher R; Bright, Jen A; Capp, Elliot J R; Chira, Angela M; Hughes, Emma C; Moody, Christopher J A; Nouri, Lara O; Varley, Zoë K; Thomas, Gavin H

    2017-02-16

    The origin and expansion of biological diversity is regulated by both developmental trajectories and limits on available ecological niches. As lineages diversify, an early and often rapid phase of species and trait proliferation gives way to evolutionary slow-downs as new species pack into ever more densely occupied regions of ecological niche space. Small clades such as Darwin's finches demonstrate that natural selection is the driving force of adaptive radiations, but how microevolutionary processes scale up to shape the expansion of phenotypic diversity over much longer evolutionary timescales is unclear. Here we address this problem on a global scale by analysing a crowdsourced dataset of three-dimensional scanned bill morphology from more than 2,000 species. We find that bill diversity expanded early in extant avian evolutionary history, before transitioning to a phase dominated by packing of morphological space. However, this early phenotypic diversification is decoupled from temporal variation in evolutionary rate: rates of bill evolution vary among lineages but are comparatively stable through time. We find that rare, but major, discontinuities in phenotype emerge from rapid increases in rate along single branches, sometimes leading to depauperate clades with unusual bill morphologies. Despite these jumps between groups, the major axes of within-group bill-shape evolution are remarkably consistent across birds. We reveal that macroevolutionary processes underlying global-scale adaptive radiations support Darwinian and Simpsonian ideas of microevolution within adaptive zones and accelerated evolution between distinct adaptive peaks.

  18. Climate change and mammals: evolutionary versus plastic responses.

    PubMed

    Boutin, Stan; Lane, Jeffrey E

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and microevolution are the two primary means by which organisms respond adaptively to local conditions. While these mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, their relative magnitudes will influence both the rate of, and ability to sustain, phenotypic responses to climate change. We review accounts of recent phenotypic changes in wild mammal populations with the purpose of critically evaluating the following: (i) whether climate change has been identified as the causal mechanism producing the observed change; (ii) whether the change is adaptive; and (iii) the relative influences of evolution and/or phenotypic plasticity underlying the change. The available data for mammals are scant. We found twelve studies that report changes in phenology, body weight or litter size. In all cases, the observed response was primarily due to plasticity. Only one study (of advancing parturition dates in American red squirrels) provided convincing evidence of contemporary evolution. Subsequently, however, climate change has been shown to not be the causal mechanism underlying this shift. We also summarize studies that have shown evolutionary potential (i.e. the trait is heritable and/or under selection) in traits with putative associations with climate change and discuss future directions that need to be undertaken before a conclusive demonstration of plastic or evolutionary responses to climate change in wild mammals can be made.

  19. Widespread adaptive evolution during repeated evolutionary radiations in New World lupins

    PubMed Central

    Nevado, Bruno; Atchison, Guy W.; Hughes, Colin E.; Filatov, Dmitry A.

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary processes that drive rapid species diversification are poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear whether Darwinian adaptation or non-adaptive processes are the primary drivers of explosive species diversifications. Here we show that repeated rapid radiations within New World lupins (Lupinus, Leguminosae) were underpinned by a major increase in the frequency of adaptation acting on coding and regulatory changes genome-wide. This contrasts with far less frequent adaptation in genomes of slowly diversifying lupins and all other plant genera analysed. Furthermore, widespread shifts in optimal gene expression coincided with shifts to high rates of diversification and evolution of perenniality, a putative key adaptation trait thought to have triggered the evolutionary radiations in New World lupins. Our results reconcile long-standing debate about the relative importance of protein-coding and regulatory evolution, and represent the first unambiguous evidence for the rapid onset of lineage- and genome-wide accelerated Darwinian evolution during rapid species diversification. PMID:27498896

  20. Predicting the evolutionary dynamics of seasonal adaptation to novel climates in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Fournier-Level, Alexandre; Perry, Emily O; Wang, Jonathan A; Braun, Peter T; Migneault, Andrew; Cooper, Martha D; Metcalf, C Jessica E; Schmitt, Johanna

    2016-05-17

    Predicting whether and how populations will adapt to rapid climate change is a critical goal for evolutionary biology. To examine the genetic basis of fitness and predict adaptive evolution in novel climates with seasonal variation, we grew a diverse panel of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana (multiparent advanced generation intercross lines) in controlled conditions simulating four climates: a present-day reference climate, an increased-temperature climate, a winter-warming only climate, and a poleward-migration climate with increased photoperiod amplitude. In each climate, four successive seasonal cohorts experienced dynamic daily temperature and photoperiod variation over a year. We measured 12 traits and developed a genomic prediction model for fitness evolution in each seasonal environment. This model was used to simulate evolutionary trajectories of the base population over 50 y in each climate, as well as 100-y scenarios of gradual climate change following adaptation to a reference climate. Patterns of plastic and evolutionary fitness response varied across seasons and climates. The increased-temperature climate promoted genetic divergence of subpopulations across seasons, whereas in the winter-warming and poleward-migration climates, seasonal genetic differentiation was reduced. In silico "resurrection experiments" showed limited evolutionary rescue compared with the plastic response of fitness to seasonal climate change. The genetic basis of adaptation and, consequently, the dynamics of evolutionary change differed qualitatively among scenarios. Populations with fewer founding genotypes and populations with genetic diversity reduced by prior selection adapted less well to novel conditions, demonstrating that adaptation to rapid climate change requires the maintenance of sufficient standing variation.

  1. Predicting the evolutionary dynamics of seasonal adaptation to novel climates in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Fournier-Level, Alexandre; Perry, Emily O.; Wang, Jonathan A.; Braun, Peter T.; Migneault, Andrew; Cooper, Martha D.; Metcalf, C. Jessica E.; Schmitt, Johanna

    2016-01-01

    Predicting whether and how populations will adapt to rapid climate change is a critical goal for evolutionary biology. To examine the genetic basis of fitness and predict adaptive evolution in novel climates with seasonal variation, we grew a diverse panel of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana (multiparent advanced generation intercross lines) in controlled conditions simulating four climates: a present-day reference climate, an increased-temperature climate, a winter-warming only climate, and a poleward-migration climate with increased photoperiod amplitude. In each climate, four successive seasonal cohorts experienced dynamic daily temperature and photoperiod variation over a year. We measured 12 traits and developed a genomic prediction model for fitness evolution in each seasonal environment. This model was used to simulate evolutionary trajectories of the base population over 50 y in each climate, as well as 100-y scenarios of gradual climate change following adaptation to a reference climate. Patterns of plastic and evolutionary fitness response varied across seasons and climates. The increased-temperature climate promoted genetic divergence of subpopulations across seasons, whereas in the winter-warming and poleward-migration climates, seasonal genetic differentiation was reduced. In silico “resurrection experiments” showed limited evolutionary rescue compared with the plastic response of fitness to seasonal climate change. The genetic basis of adaptation and, consequently, the dynamics of evolutionary change differed qualitatively among scenarios. Populations with fewer founding genotypes and populations with genetic diversity reduced by prior selection adapted less well to novel conditions, demonstrating that adaptation to rapid climate change requires the maintenance of sufficient standing variation. PMID:27140640

  2. Plastic and evolutionary responses to climate change in fish

    PubMed Central

    Crozier, Lisa G; Hutchings, Jeffrey A

    2014-01-01

    The physical and ecological ‘fingerprints’ of anthropogenic climate change over the past century are now well documented in many environments and taxa. We reviewed the evidence for phenotypic responses to recent climate change in fish. Changes in the timing of migration and reproduction, age at maturity, age at juvenile migration, growth, survival and fecundity were associated primarily with changes in temperature. Although these traits can evolve rapidly, only two studies attributed phenotypic changes formally to evolutionary mechanisms. The correlation-based methods most frequently employed point largely to ‘fine-grained’ population responses to environmental variability (i.e. rapid phenotypic changes relative to generation time), consistent with plastic mechanisms. Ultimately, many species will likely adapt to long-term warming trends overlaid on natural climate oscillations. Considering the strong plasticity in all traits studied, we recommend development and expanded use of methods capable of detecting evolutionary change, such as the long term study of selection coefficients and temporal shifts in reaction norms, and increased attention to forecasting adaptive change in response to the synergistic interactions of the multiple selection pressures likely to be associated with climate change. PMID:24454549

  3. Predators modify the evolutionary response of prey to temperature change.

    PubMed

    Tseng, M; O'Connor, M I

    2015-12-01

    As climate regimes shift in many ecosystems worldwide, evolution may be a critical process allowing persistence in rapidly changing environments. Organisms regularly interact with other species, yet whether climate-mediated evolution can occur in the context of species interactions is not well understood. We tested whether a species interaction could modify evolutionary responses to temperature. We demonstrate that predation pressure by Dipteran larvae (Chaoborus americanus) modified the evolutionary response of a freshwater crustacean (Daphnia pulex) to its thermal environment over approximately seven generations in laboratory conditions. Daphnia kept at 21°C evolved higher population growth rates than those kept at 18°C, but only in those populations that were also reared with predators. Furthermore, predator-mediated selection resulted in the evolution of elevated Daphnia thermal plasticity. This laboratory natural selection experiment demonstrates that biotic interactions can modify evolutionary adaptation to temperature. Understanding the interplay between multiple selective forces can improve predictions of ecological and evolutionary responses of organisms to rapid environmental change.

  4. Evidence of Adaptive Evolutionary Divergence during Biological Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Lucek, Kay; Sivasundar, Arjun; Seehausen, Ole

    2012-01-01

    Rapid phenotypic diversification during biological invasions can either arise by adaptation to alternative environments or by adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Where experimental evidence for adaptive plasticity is common, support for evolutionary diversification is rare. Here, we performed a controlled laboratory experiment using full-sib crosses between ecologically divergent threespine stickleback populations to test for a genetic basis of adaptation. Our populations are from two very different habitats, lake and stream, of a recently invaded range in Switzerland and differ in ecologically relevant morphological traits. We found that in a lake-like food treatment lake fish grow faster than stream fish, resembling the difference among wild type individuals. In contrast, in a stream-like food treatment individuals from both populations grow similarly. Our experimental data suggest that genetically determined diversification has occurred within less than 140 years after the arrival of stickleback in our studied region. PMID:23152900

  5. Adaptive noise cancellation based on beehive pattern evolutionary digital filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiaojun; Shao, Yimin

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary digital filtering (EDF) exhibits the advantage of avoiding the local optimum problem by using cloning and mating searching rules in an adaptive noise cancellation system. However, convergence performance is restricted by the large population of individuals and the low level of information communication among them. The special beehive structure enables the individuals on neighbour beehive nodes to communicate with each other and thus enhance the information spread and random search ability of the algorithm. By introducing the beehive pattern evolutionary rules into the original EDF, this paper proposes an improved beehive pattern evolutionary digital filter (BP-EDF) to overcome the defects of the original EDF. In the proposed algorithm, a new evolutionary rule which combines competing cloning, complete cloning and assistance mating methods is constructed to enable the individuals distributed on the beehive to communicate with their neighbours. Simulation results are used to demonstrate the improved performance of the proposed algorithm in terms of convergence speed to the global optimum compared with the original methods. Experimental results also verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in extracting feature signals that are contaminated by significant amounts of noise during the fault diagnosis task.

  6. Genomic basis of evolutionary change: evolving immunity

    PubMed Central

    Wertheim, Bregje

    2015-01-01

    Complex traits are manifestations of intricate gene interaction networks. Evolution of complex traits revolves around the genetic variation in such networks. Genomics has increased our ability to investigate the complex gene interaction networks, and characterize the extent of genetic variation in these networks. Immunity is a complex trait, for which the ecological drivers and molecular networks are fairly well understood in Drosophila. By characterizing the natural variation in immunity, and mapping how the genome changes during the evolution of immunity in Drosophila, we can integrate our knowledge on the complex genetic architecture of traits and the molecular basis of evolutionary processes. PMID:26150830

  7. Evolutionary adaptation of phenotypic plasticity in a synthetic microbial system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tans, Sander

    2010-03-01

    While phenotypic plasticity -the capability to respond to the environment- is vital to organisms, tests of its adaptation have remained indecisive because constraints and selection in variable environments are unknown and entangled. We show that one can determine the phenotype-fitness landscape that specifies selection on plasticity, by uncoupling the environmental cue and stress in a genetically engineered microbial system. Evolutionary trajectories revealed genetic constraints in a regulatory protein, which imposed cross-environment trade-offs that favored specialization. However, depending on the synchronicity and amplitude of the applied cue and stress variations, adaptation could break constraints, resolve trade-offs, and evolve optimal phenotypes that exhibit qualitatively altered (inverse) responses to the cue. Our results provide a first step to explain the adaptive origins of complex behavior in heterogeneous environments.

  8. Quantifying Rates of Evolutionary Adaptation in Response to Ocean Acidification

    PubMed Central

    Sunday, Jennifer M.; Crim, Ryan N.; Harley, Christopher D. G.; Hart, Michael W.

    2011-01-01

    The global acidification of the earth's oceans is predicted to impact biodiversity via physiological effects impacting growth, survival, reproduction, and immunology, leading to changes in species abundances and global distributions. However, the degree to which these changes will play out critically depends on the evolutionary rate at which populations will respond to natural selection imposed by ocean acidification, which remains largely unquantified. Here we measure the potential for an evolutionary response to ocean acidification in larval development rate in two coastal invertebrates using a full-factorial breeding design. We show that the sea urchin species Strongylocentrotus franciscanus has vastly greater levels of phenotypic and genetic variation for larval size in future CO2 conditions compared to the mussel species Mytilus trossulus. Using these measures we demonstrate that S. franciscanus may have faster evolutionary responses within 50 years of the onset of predicted year-2100 CO2 conditions despite having lower population turnover rates. Our comparisons suggest that information on genetic variation, phenotypic variation, and key demographic parameters, may lend valuable insight into relative evolutionary potentials across a large number of species. PMID:21857962

  9. Cenozoic climate change influences mammalian evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Figueirido, Borja; Janis, Christine M.; Pérez-Claros, Juan A.; De Renzi, Miquel; Palmqvist, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Global climate change is having profound impacts on the natural world. However, climate influence on faunal dynamics at macroevolutionary scales remains poorly understood. In this paper we investigate the influence of climate over deep time on the diversity patterns of Cenozoic North American mammals. We use factor analysis to identify temporally correlated assemblages of taxa, or major evolutionary faunas that we can then study in relation to climatic change over the past 65 million years. These taxa can be grouped into six consecutive faunal associations that show some correspondence with the qualitative mammalian chronofaunas of previous workers. We also show that the diversity pattern of most of these chronofaunas can be correlated with the stacked deep-sea benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope (δ18O) curve, which strongly suggests climatic forcing of faunal dynamics over a large macroevolutionary timescale. This study demonstrates the profound influence of climate on the diversity patterns of North American terrestrial mammals over the Cenozoic. PMID:22203974

  10. Cenozoic climate change influences mammalian evolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    Figueirido, Borja; Janis, Christine M; Pérez-Claros, Juan A; De Renzi, Miquel; Palmqvist, Paul

    2012-01-17

    Global climate change is having profound impacts on the natural world. However, climate influence on faunal dynamics at macroevolutionary scales remains poorly understood. In this paper we investigate the influence of climate over deep time on the diversity patterns of Cenozoic North American mammals. We use factor analysis to identify temporally correlated assemblages of taxa, or major evolutionary faunas that we can then study in relation to climatic change over the past 65 million years. These taxa can be grouped into six consecutive faunal associations that show some correspondence with the qualitative mammalian chronofaunas of previous workers. We also show that the diversity pattern of most of these chronofaunas can be correlated with the stacked deep-sea benthic foraminiferal oxygen isotope (δ(18)O) curve, which strongly suggests climatic forcing of faunal dynamics over a large macroevolutionary timescale. This study demonstrates the profound influence of climate on the diversity patterns of North American terrestrial mammals over the Cenozoic.

  11. Social Change and Increasing of Bipolar Disorders: An Evolutionary Model

    PubMed Central

    Carta, Mauro Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: The objective of this paper is to see if behaviours defined as pathological and maladjusted in certain contexts may produce adaptive effects in other contexts, especially if they occur in attenuated form. Interactions between environment and behaviour are studied from an evolutionary standpoint in an attempt to understand how new attitudes emerge in an evolving context. Methodology: Narrative review. Following an historical examination of how the description of depression in Western society has changed, we examine a series of studies performed in areas where great changes have taken place as well as research on emigration from Sardinia in the 1960s and 70s and immigration to Sardinia in the 1990s. Results and conclusions: If we postulate that mood disorders are on the increase and that the epidemic began in the 17th century with the "English malady", we must suppose that at least the "light" forms have an adaptive advantage, otherwise the expansion of the disorder would have been self-limiting. "Compulsive hyper-responsabilization”, as well as explorative behaviours, may represent a base for adaptation in certain conditions of social change. The social emphasis in individualism and responsibility may have changed not only the frequency, but also the phenomenology of mood disorders particularly the increases in bipolar disorders. From the sociobiological standpoint the conditions that may favour "subthreshold" bipolar or depressive features are to be considered in relation to the contextual role of gender and the different risks of the two disorders in males and females. PMID:23878615

  12. Sulfur isotope fractionation during the evolutionary adaptation of a sulfate-reducing bacterium.

    PubMed

    Pellerin, André; Anderson-Trocmé, Luke; Whyte, Lyle G; Zane, Grant M; Wall, Judy D; Wing, Boswell A

    2015-04-01

    Dissimilatory sulfate reduction is a microbial catabolic pathway that preferentially processes less massive sulfur isotopes relative to their heavier counterparts. This sulfur isotope fractionation is recorded in ancient sedimentary rocks and generally is considered to reflect a phenotypic response to environmental variations rather than to evolutionary adaptation. Modern sulfate-reducing microorganisms isolated from similar environments can exhibit a wide range of sulfur isotope fractionations, suggesting that adaptive processes influence the sulfur isotope phenotype. To date, the relationship between evolutionary adaptation and isotopic phenotypes has not been explored. We addressed this by studying the covariation of fitness, sulfur isotope fractionation, and growth characteristics in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough in a microbial evolution experiment. After 560 generations, the mean fitness of the evolved lineages relative to the starting isogenic population had increased by ∼ 17%. After 927 generations, the mean fitness relative to the initial ancestral population had increased by ∼ 20%. Growth rate in exponential phase increased during the course of the experiment, suggesting that this was a primary influence behind the fitness increases. Consistent changes were observed within different selection intervals between fractionation and fitness. Fitness changes were associated with changes in exponential growth rate but changes in fractionation were not. Instead, they appeared to be a response to changes in the parameters that govern growth rate: yield and cell-specific sulfate respiration rate. We hypothesize that cell-specific sulfate respiration rate, in particular, provides a bridge that allows physiological controls on fractionation to cross over to the adaptive realm.

  13. Why don't zebras have machine guns? Adaptation, selection, and constraints in evolutionary theory.

    PubMed

    Shanahan, Timothy

    2008-03-01

    In an influential paper, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin (1979) contrasted selection-driven adaptation with phylogenetic, architectural, and developmental constraints as distinct causes of phenotypic evolution. In subsequent publications Gould (e.g., 1997a,b, 2002) has elaborated this distinction into one between a narrow "Darwinian Fundamentalist" emphasis on "external functionalist" processes, and a more inclusive "pluralist" emphasis on "internal structuralist" principles. Although theoretical integration of functionalist and structuralist explanations is the ultimate aim, natural selection and internal constraints are treated as distinct causes of evolutionary change. This distinction is now routinely taken for granted in the literature in evolutionary biology. I argue that this distinction is problematic because the effects attributed to non-selective constraints are more parsimoniously explained as the ordinary effects of selection itself. Although it may still be a useful shorthand to speak of phylogenetic, architectural, and developmental constraints on phenotypic evolution, it is important to understand that such "constraints" do not constitute an alternative set of causes of evolutionary change. The result of this analysis is a clearer understanding of the relationship between adaptation, selection and constraints as explanatory concepts in evolutionary theory.

  14. Classifying climate change adaptation frameworks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, Jennifer

    2014-05-01

    Complex socio-ecological demographics are factors that must be considered when addressing adaptation to the potential effects of climate change. As such, a suite of deployable climate change adaptation frameworks is necessary. Multiple frameworks that are required to communicate the risks of climate change and facilitate adaptation. Three principal adaptation frameworks have emerged from the literature; Scenario - Led (SL), Vulnerability - Led (VL) and Decision - Centric (DC). This study aims to identify to what extent these adaptation frameworks; either, planned or deployed are used in a neighbourhood vulnerable to climate change. This work presents a criterion that may be used as a tool for identifying the hallmarks of adaptation frameworks and thus enabling categorisation of projects. The study focussed on the coastal zone surrounding the Sizewell nuclear power plant in Suffolk in the UK. An online survey was conducted identifying climate change adaptation projects operating in the study area. This inventory was analysed to identify the hallmarks of each adaptation project; Levels of dependency on climate model information, Metrics/units of analysis utilised, Level of demographic knowledge, Level of stakeholder engagement, Adaptation implementation strategies and Scale of adaptation implementation. The study found that climate change adaptation projects could be categorised, based on the hallmarks identified, in accordance with the published literature. As such, the criterion may be used to establish the matrix of adaptation frameworks present in a given area. A comprehensive summary of the nature of adaptation frameworks in operation in a locality provides a platform for further comparative analysis. Such analysis, enabled by the criterion, may aid the selection of appropriate frameworks enhancing the efficacy of climate change adaptation.

  15. Phytoplankton adapt to changing ocean environments.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Andrew J; Finkel, Zoe V; Müller-Karger, Frank E; Troccoli Ghinaglia, Luis

    2015-05-05

    Model projections indicate that climate change may dramatically restructure phytoplankton communities, with cascading consequences for marine food webs. It is currently not known whether evolutionary change is likely to be able to keep pace with the rate of climate change. For simplicity, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, most model projections assume species have fixed environmental preferences and will not adapt to changing environmental conditions on the century scale. Using 15 y of observations from Station CARIACO (Carbon Retention in a Colored Ocean), we show that most of the dominant species from a marine phytoplankton community were able to adapt their realized niches to track average increases in water temperature and irradiance, but the majority of species exhibited a fixed niche for nitrate. We do not know the extent of this adaptive capacity, so we cannot conclude that phytoplankton will be able to adapt to the changes anticipated over the next century, but community ecosystem models can no longer assume that phytoplankton cannot adapt.

  16. Evolutionary changes in the genetic code.

    PubMed

    Jukes, T H; Osawa, S

    1993-11-01

    1. The genetic code was thought to be identical ("universal") in all biological systems until 1981, when it was discovered that the coding system in mammalian mitochondria differed from the universal code in the use of codons AUA, UGA, AGA and AGG. 2. Many other differences have since been discovered, some in mitochondria of various phyla, others in bacteria, ciliated protozoa, algae and yeasts. 3. The original thesis that the code was universal and "frozen" depended on the precept that any mutational change in the code would be lethal, because it would produce widespread alterations in the amino acid sequences of proteins. Such changes would destroy protein function, and hence would be intolerable. 4. The objection was "by-passed" by nature. It is possible for a codon to disappear from mRNA molecules, often as a result of directional mutation pressure in DNA: thus all UGA stop codons can be replaced by UAA. 5. The missing UGA codon can then reappear when some UGG tryptophan codons mutate to UGA. The new UGA codons will be translated as tryptophan, as is the case in non-plant mitochondria and Mycoplasma. Therefore, no changes have taken place in the amino acid sequences of proteins. 6. Variations of this procedure have occurred, affecting various codons, and discoveries are still being made. The findings illustrate the evolutionary interplay between tRNA, release factors and codon-anticodon pairing.

  17. Selective Bottlenecks Shape Evolutionary Pathways Taken during Mammalian Adaptation of a 1918-like Avian Influenza Virus.

    PubMed

    Moncla, Louise H; Zhong, Gongxun; Nelson, Chase W; Dinis, Jorge M; Mutschler, James; Hughes, Austin L; Watanabe, Tokiko; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Friedrich, Thomas C

    2016-02-10

    Avian influenza virus reassortants resembling the 1918 human pandemic virus can become transmissible among mammals by acquiring mutations in hemagglutinin (HA) and polymerase. Using the ferret model, we trace the evolutionary pathway by which an avian-like virus evolves the capacity for mammalian replication and airborne transmission. During initial infection, within-host HA diversity increased drastically. Then, airborne transmission fixed two polymerase mutations that do not confer a detectable replication advantage. In later transmissions, selection fixed advantageous HA1 variants. Transmission initially involved a "loose" bottleneck, which became strongly selective after additional HA mutations emerged. The stringency and evolutionary forces governing between-host bottlenecks may therefore change throughout host adaptation. Mutations occurred in multiple combinations in transmitted viruses, suggesting that mammalian transmissibility can evolve through multiple genetic pathways despite phenotypic constraints. Our data provide a glimpse into avian influenza virus adaptation in mammals, with broad implications for surveillance on potentially zoonotic viruses.

  18. Plastic and Evolutionary Gene Expression Responses Are Correlated in European Grayling (Thymallus thymallus) Subpopulations Adapted to Different Thermal Environments.

    PubMed

    Mäkinen, Hannu; Papakostas, Spiros; Vøllestad, Leif Asbjørn; Leder, Erica H; Primmer, Craig R

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how populations adapt to changing environmental conditions is a long-standing theme in evolutionary biology. Gene expression changes have been recognized as an important driver of local adaptation, but relatively little is known regarding the direction of change and in particular, about the interplay between plastic and evolutionary gene expression. We have previously shown that the gene expression profiles of European grayling (Thymallus thymallus) populations inhabiting different thermal environments include both plastic and evolutionary components. However, whether the plastic and evolutionary responses were in the same direction was not investigated in detail, nor was the identity of the specific genes involved. In this study, we show that the plastic changes in protein expression in response to different temperatures are highly correlated with the evolutionary response in grayling subpopulations adapted to different thermal environments. This finding provides preliminary evidence that the plastic response most likely facilitates adaptation during the early phases of colonization of thermal environments. The proteins that showed significant changes in expression level between warm and cold temperature treatments were mostly related to muscle development, which is consistent with earlier findings demonstrating muscle mass differentiation between cold and warm grayling populations.

  19. Evolutionary Adaptive Discovery of Phased Array Sensor Signal Identification

    SciTech Connect

    Timothy R. McJunkin; Milos Manic

    2011-05-01

    Tomography, used to create images of the internal properties and features of an object, from phased array ultasonics is improved through many sophisiticated methonds of post processing of data. One approach used to improve tomographic results is to prescribe the collection of more data, from different points of few so that data fusion might have a richer data set to work from. This approach can lead to rapid increase in the data needed to be stored and processed. It also does not necessarily lead to have the needed data. This article describes a novel approach to utilizing the data aquired as a basis for adapting the sensors focusing parameters to locate more precisely the features in the material: specifically, two evolutionary methods of autofocusing on a returned signal are coupled with the derivations of the forumulas for spatially locating the feature are given. Test results of the two novel methods of evolutionary based focusing (EBF) illustrate the improved signal strength and correction of the position of feature using the optimized focal timing parameters, called Focused Delay Identification (FoDI).

  20. Combining environment-driven adaptation and task-driven optimisation in evolutionary robotics.

    PubMed

    Haasdijk, Evert; Bredeche, Nicolas; Eiben, A E

    2014-01-01

    Embodied evolutionary robotics is a sub-field of evolutionary robotics that employs evolutionary algorithms on the robotic hardware itself, during the operational period, i.e., in an on-line fashion. This enables robotic systems that continuously adapt, and are therefore capable of (re-)adjusting themselves to previously unknown or dynamically changing conditions autonomously, without human oversight. This paper addresses one of the major challenges that such systems face, viz. that the robots must satisfy two sets of requirements. Firstly, they must continue to operate reliably in their environment (viability), and secondly they must competently perform user-specified tasks (usefulness). The solution we propose exploits the fact that evolutionary methods have two basic selection mechanisms-survivor selection and parent selection. This allows evolution to tackle the two sets of requirements separately: survivor selection is driven by the environment and parent selection is based on task-performance. This idea is elaborated in the Multi-Objective aNd open-Ended Evolution (monee) framework, which we experimentally validate. Experiments with robotic swarms of 100 simulated e-pucks show that monee does indeed promote task-driven behaviour without compromising environmental adaptation. We also investigate an extension of the parent selection process with a 'market mechanism' that can ensure equitable distribution of effort over multiple tasks, a particularly pressing issue if the environment promotes specialisation in single tasks.

  1. Combining Environment-Driven Adaptation and Task-Driven Optimisation in Evolutionary Robotics

    PubMed Central

    Haasdijk, Evert; Bredeche, Nicolas; Eiben, A. E.

    2014-01-01

    Embodied evolutionary robotics is a sub-field of evolutionary robotics that employs evolutionary algorithms on the robotic hardware itself, during the operational period, i.e., in an on-line fashion. This enables robotic systems that continuously adapt, and are therefore capable of (re-)adjusting themselves to previously unknown or dynamically changing conditions autonomously, without human oversight. This paper addresses one of the major challenges that such systems face, viz. that the robots must satisfy two sets of requirements. Firstly, they must continue to operate reliably in their environment (viability), and secondly they must competently perform user-specified tasks (usefulness). The solution we propose exploits the fact that evolutionary methods have two basic selection mechanisms–survivor selection and parent selection. This allows evolution to tackle the two sets of requirements separately: survivor selection is driven by the environment and parent selection is based on task-performance. This idea is elaborated in the Multi-Objective aNd open-Ended Evolution (monee) framework, which we experimentally validate. Experiments with robotic swarms of 100 simulated e-pucks show that monee does indeed promote task-driven behaviour without compromising environmental adaptation. We also investigate an extension of the parent selection process with a ‘market mechanism’ that can ensure equitable distribution of effort over multiple tasks, a particularly pressing issue if the environment promotes specialisation in single tasks. PMID:24901702

  2. The repertoire and dynamics of evolutionary adaptations to controlled nutrient-limited environments in yeast.

    PubMed

    Gresham, David; Desai, Michael M; Tucker, Cheryl M; Jenq, Harry T; Pai, Dave A; Ward, Alexandra; DeSevo, Christopher G; Botstein, David; Dunham, Maitreya J

    2008-12-01

    The experimental evolution of laboratory populations of microbes provides an opportunity to observe the evolutionary dynamics of adaptation in real time. Until very recently, however, such studies have been limited by our inability to systematically find mutations in evolved organisms. We overcome this limitation by using a variety of DNA microarray-based techniques to characterize genetic changes -- including point mutations, structural changes, and insertion variation -- that resulted from the experimental adaptation of 24 haploid and diploid cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to growth in either glucose, sulfate, or phosphate-limited chemostats for approximately 200 generations. We identified frequent genomic amplifications and rearrangements as well as novel retrotransposition events associated with adaptation. Global nucleotide variation detection in ten clonal isolates identified 32 point mutations. On the basis of mutation frequencies, we infer that these mutations and the subsequent dynamics of adaptation are determined by the batch phase of growth prior to initiation of the continuous phase in the chemostat. We relate these genotypic changes to phenotypic outcomes, namely global patterns of gene expression, and to increases in fitness by 5-50%. We found that the spectrum of available mutations in glucose- or phosphate-limited environments combined with the batch phase population dynamics early in our experiments allowed several distinct genotypic and phenotypic evolutionary pathways in response to these nutrient limitations. By contrast, sulfate-limited populations were much more constrained in both genotypic and phenotypic outcomes. Thus, the reproducibility of evolution varies with specific selective pressures, reflecting the constraints inherent in the system-level organization of metabolic processes in the cell. We were able to relate some of the observed adaptive mutations (e.g., transporter gene amplifications) to known features of the relevant

  3. Narrative, Adaptation, and Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bateson, Mary Catherine

    2007-01-01

    This paper explores how individuals and communities orient themselves to the future by the way they story the past. There is a persistent tendency to think of such narratives as factual and therefore stable. The mutability of such narratives is actually a key adaptive characteristic, ranging from complete repression of individual traumas to public…

  4. The new image segmentation algorithm using adaptive evolutionary programming and fuzzy c-means clustering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Fang

    2011-06-01

    Image segmentation remains one of the major challenges in image analysis and computer vision. Fuzzy clustering, as a soft segmentation method, has been widely studied and successfully applied in mage clustering and segmentation. The fuzzy c-means (FCM) algorithm is the most popular method used in mage segmentation. However, most clustering algorithms such as the k-means and the FCM clustering algorithms search for the final clusters values based on the predetermined initial centers. The FCM clustering algorithms does not consider the space information of pixels and is sensitive to noise. In the paper, presents a new fuzzy c-means (FCM) algorithm with adaptive evolutionary programming that provides image clustering. The features of this algorithm are: 1) firstly, it need not predetermined initial centers. Evolutionary programming will help FCM search for better center and escape bad centers at local minima. Secondly, the spatial distance and the Euclidean distance is also considered in the FCM clustering. So this algorithm is more robust to the noises. Thirdly, the adaptive evolutionary programming is proposed. The mutation rule is adaptively changed with learning the useful knowledge in the evolving process. Experiment results shows that the new image segmentation algorithm is effective. It is providing robustness to noisy images.

  5. Behavioural changes and the adaptive diversification of pigeons and doves

    PubMed Central

    Lapiedra, Oriol; Sol, Daniel; Carranza, Salvador; Beaulieu, Jeremy M.

    2013-01-01

    What factors determine the extent of evolutionary diversification remains a major question in evolutionary biology. Behavioural changes have long been suggested to be a major driver of phenotypic diversification by exposing animals to new selective pressures. Nevertheless, the role of behaviour in evolution remains controversial because behavioural changes can also retard evolutionary change by hiding genetic variation from selection. In the present study, we apply recently implemented Ornstein–Uhlenbeck evolutionary models to show that behavioural changes led to associated evolutionary responses in functionally relevant morphological traits of pigeons and doves (Columbiformes). Specifically, changes from terrestrial to arboreal foraging behaviour reconstructed in a set of phylogenies brought associated shorter tarsi and longer tails, consistent with functional predictions. Interestingly, the transition to arboreality accelerated the rates of evolutionary divergence, leading to an increased morphological specialization that seems to have subsequently constrained reversals to terrestrial foraging. Altogether, our results support the view that behaviour may drive evolutionary diversification, but they also highlight that its evolutionary consequences largely depend on the limits imposed by the functional demands of the adaptive zone. PMID:23363634

  6. Evolutionary history of a complex adaptation: Tetrodotoxin resistance in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Hanifin, Charles T.; Gilly, William F.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the processes that generate novel adaptive phenotypes is central to evolutionary biology. We used comparative analyses to reveal the history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in TTX-bearing salamanders. Resistance to TTX is a critical component of the ability to use TTX defensively but the origin of the TTX-bearing phenotype is unclear. Skeletal muscle of TTX-bearing salamanders (modern newts, family: Salamandridae) is unaffected by TTX at doses far in excess of those that block action potentials in muscle and nerve of other vertebrates. Skeletal muscle of non-TTX-bearing salamandrids is also resistant to TTX but at lower levels. Skeletal muscle TTX resistance in the Salamandridae results from the expression of TTX-resistant variants of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV 1.4 (SCN4a). We identified four substitutions in the coding region of salSCN4a that are likely responsible for the TTX resistance measured in TTX-bearing salamanders and variation at one of these sites likely explains variation in TTX resistance among other lineages. Our results suggest that exaptation has played a role in the evolution of the TTX-bearing phenotype and provide empirical evidence that complex physiological adaptations can arise through the accumulation of beneficial mutations in the coding region of conserved proteins. PMID:25346116

  7. Evolutionary history of a complex adaptation: tetrodotoxin resistance in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T; Gilly, William F

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes that generate novel adaptive phenotypes is central to evolutionary biology. We used comparative analyses to reveal the history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in TTX-bearing salamanders. Resistance to TTX is a critical component of the ability to use TTX defensively but the origin of the TTX-bearing phenotype is unclear. Skeletal muscle of TTX-bearing salamanders (modern newts, family: Salamandridae) is unaffected by TTX at doses far in excess of those that block action potentials in muscle and nerve of other vertebrates. Skeletal muscle of non-TTX-bearing salamandrids is also resistant to TTX but at lower levels. Skeletal muscle TTX resistance in the Salamandridae results from the expression of TTX-resistant variants of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV 1.4 (SCN4a). We identified four substitutions in the coding region of salSCN4a that are likely responsible for the TTX resistance measured in TTX-bearing salamanders and variation at one of these sites likely explains variation in TTX resistance among other lineages. Our results suggest that exaptation has played a role in the evolution of the TTX-bearing phenotype and provide empirical evidence that complex physiological adaptations can arise through the accumulation of beneficial mutations in the coding region of conserved proteins.

  8. Climate change and timing of avian breeding and migration: evolutionary versus plastic changes

    PubMed Central

    Charmantier, Anne; Gienapp, Phillip

    2014-01-01

    There are multiple observations around the globe showing that in many avian species, both the timing of migration and breeding have advanced, due to warmer springs. Here, we review the literature to disentangle the actions of evolutionary changes in response to selection induced by climate change versus changes due to individual plasticity, that is, the capacity of an individual to adjust its phenology to environmental variables. Within the abundant literature on climate change effects on bird phenology, only a small fraction of studies are based on individual data, yet individual data are required to quantify the relative importance of plastic versus evolutionary responses. While plasticity seems common and often adaptive, no study so far has provided direct evidence for an evolutionary response of bird phenology to current climate change. This assessment leads us to notice the alarming lack of tests for microevolutionary changes in bird phenology in response to climate change, in contrast with the abundant claims on this issue. In short, at present we cannot draw reliable conclusions on the processes underlying the observed patterns of advanced phenology in birds. Rapid improvements in techniques for gathering and analysing individual data offer exciting possibilities that should encourage research activity to fill this knowledge gap. PMID:24454545

  9. Adapting agriculture to climate change.

    PubMed

    Howden, S Mark; Soussana, Jean-François; Tubiello, Francesco N; Chhetri, Netra; Dunlop, Michael; Meinke, Holger

    2007-12-11

    The strong trends in climate change already evident, the likelihood of further changes occurring, and the increasing scale of potential climate impacts give urgency to addressing agricultural adaptation more coherently. There are many potential adaptation options available for marginal change of existing agricultural systems, often variations of existing climate risk management. We show that implementation of these options is likely to have substantial benefits under moderate climate change for some cropping systems. However, there are limits to their effectiveness under more severe climate changes. Hence, more systemic changes in resource allocation need to be considered, such as targeted diversification of production systems and livelihoods. We argue that achieving increased adaptation action will necessitate integration of climate change-related issues with other risk factors, such as climate variability and market risk, and with other policy domains, such as sustainable development. Dealing with the many barriers to effective adaptation will require a comprehensive and dynamic policy approach covering a range of scales and issues, for example, from the understanding by farmers of change in risk profiles to the establishment of efficient markets that facilitate response strategies. Science, too, has to adapt. Multidisciplinary problems require multidisciplinary solutions, i.e., a focus on integrated rather than disciplinary science and a strengthening of the interface with decision makers. A crucial component of this approach is the implementation of adaptation assessment frameworks that are relevant, robust, and easily operated by all stakeholders, practitioners, policymakers, and scientists.

  10. Climate Change Adaptation Plan

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    currently valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT DATE JUN 2014 2 . REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2014 to 00-00-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Climate...PERSON a. REPORT unclassified b. ABSTRACT unclassified c. THIS PAGE unclassified Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 2 I...policy and guidance. 3 I N T R O D U C T I O NC O N T E N T S EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2 CONTENTS 3 INTRODUCTION 4 What’s new in the 2014 Adaptation Plan 4

  11. Evolutionary change during experimental ocean acidification.

    PubMed

    Pespeni, Melissa H; Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian; Hill, Tessa M; Hosfelt, Jessica D; Jaris, Hannah K; LaVigne, Michèle; Lenz, Elizabeth A; Russell, Ann D; Young, Megan K; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2013-04-23

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) conditions are driving unprecedented changes in seawater chemistry, resulting in reduced pH and carbonate ion concentrations in the Earth's oceans. This ocean acidification has negative but variable impacts on individual performance in many marine species. However, little is known about the adaptive capacity of species to respond to an acidified ocean, and, as a result, predictions regarding future ecosystem responses remain incomplete. Here we demonstrate that ocean acidification generates striking patterns of genome-wide selection in purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) cultured under different CO2 levels. We examined genetic change at 19,493 loci in larvae from seven adult populations cultured under realistic future CO2 levels. Although larval development and morphology showed little response to elevated CO2, we found substantial allelic change in 40 functional classes of proteins involving hundreds of loci. Pronounced genetic changes, including excess amino acid replacements, were detected in all populations and occurred in genes for biomineralization, lipid metabolism, and ion homeostasis--gene classes that build skeletons and interact in pH regulation. Such genetic change represents a neglected and important impact of ocean acidification that may influence populations that show few outward signs of response to acidification. Our results demonstrate the capacity for rapid evolution in the face of ocean acidification and show that standing genetic variation could be a reservoir of resilience to climate change in this coastal upwelling ecosystem. However, effective response to strong natural selection demands large population sizes and may be limited in species impacted by other environmental stressors.

  12. The Behavioural Biogeosciences: Moving Beyond Evolutionary Adaptation and Innate Reasoning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glynn, P. D.

    2014-12-01

    Human biases and heuristics reflect adaptation over our evolutionary past to frequently experienced situations that affected our survival and that provided sharp distinguished feedbacks at the level of the individual. Human behavior, however, is not well adapted to the more diffusely experienced (i.e. less immediately/locally acute) problems and issues that scientists and society often seek to address today. Several human biases are identified that affect how science is conducted and used. These biases include an innate discounting of less visible phenomena/systems and of long-term perspectives; as well as a general lack of consideration of the coupling between the resources that we use and the waste that we consequently produce. Other biases include strong beliefs in human exceptionalism and separatedness from "nature". Francis Bacon (The New Organon, 1620) provided a classification of the factors, of the "idols of the mind", that bias pursuit of greater knowledge. How can we address these biases and the factors that affect behaviour and pursuit of knowledge; and ultimately impact the sustainability and resilience of human societies, resources and environments? A process for critical analysis is proposed that solicits explicit accounting and cognizance of these potential human biases and factors. Seeking a greater diversity of independant perspectives is essential: in both the conduct of science and in its application to the management of natural resources and environments. Accountability, traceability and structured processes are critical in this endeavor. The scientific methods designed during the industrial revolution are necessary, but insufficient, in addressing the issues of today. A new area of study in "the behavioral biogeosciences" is suggested that counters, or at least closely re-evaluates, our normal (i.e. adapted) human priorities of observation and study, as well as our judgements and decision-making.

  13. Evolutionary dynamics of molecular markers during local adaptation: a case study in Drosophila subobscura

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Natural selection and genetic drift are major forces responsible for temporal genetic changes in populations. Furthermore, these evolutionary forces may interact with each other. Here we study the impact of an ongoing adaptive process at the molecular genetic level by analyzing the temporal genetic changes throughout 40 generations of adaptation to a common laboratory environment. Specifically, genetic variability, population differentiation and demographic structure were compared in two replicated groups of Drosophila subobscura populations recently sampled from different wild sources. Results We found evidence for a decline in genetic variability through time, along with an increase in genetic differentiation between all populations studied. The observed decline in genetic variability was higher during the first 14 generations of laboratory adaptation. The two groups of replicated populations showed overall similarity in variability patterns. Our results also revealed changing demographic structure of the populations during laboratory evolution, with lower effective population sizes in the early phase of the adaptive process. One of the ten microsatellites analyzed showed a clearly distinct temporal pattern of allele frequency change, suggesting the occurrence of positive selection affecting the region around that particular locus. Conclusion Genetic drift was responsible for most of the divergence and loss of variability between and within replicates, with most changes occurring during the first generations of laboratory adaptation. We also found evidence suggesting a selective sweep, despite the low number of molecular markers analyzed. Overall, there was a similarity of evolutionary dynamics at the molecular level in our laboratory populations, despite distinct genetic backgrounds and some differences in phenotypic evolution. PMID:18302790

  14. Climate Change Adaptation Training

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A list of on-line training modules to help local government officials and those interested in water management issues better understand how the changing climate affects the services and resources they care about

  15. Adapting to change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anscombe, Nadya

    2009-11-01

    From humble beginnings, the Belgian company Xenics has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of short-wave infrared cameras outside the US. Nadya Anscombe finds out how the company has survived the economic crisis by changing its business strategy and continually developing its products.

  16. Evolutionary adaptation after crippling cell polarization follows reproducible trajectories

    PubMed Central

    Laan, Liedewij; Koschwanez, John H; Murray, Andrew W

    2015-01-01

    Cells are organized by functional modules, which typically contain components whose removal severely compromises the module's function. Despite their importance, these components are not absolutely conserved between parts of the tree of life, suggesting that cells can evolve to perform the same biological functions with different proteins. We evolved Saccharomyces cerevisiae for 1000 generations without the important polarity gene BEM1. Initially the bem1∆ lineages rapidly increase in fitness and then slowly reach >90% of the fitness of their BEM1 ancestors at the end of the evolution. Sequencing their genomes and monitoring polarization reveals a common evolutionary trajectory, with a fixed sequence of adaptive mutations, each improving cell polarization by inactivating proteins. Our results show that organisms can be evolutionarily robust to physiologically destructive perturbations and suggest that recovery by gene inactivation can lead to rapid divergence in the parts list for cell biologically important functions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09638.001 PMID:26426479

  17. Investigating Climate Change and Reproduction: Experimental Tools from Evolutionary Biology

    PubMed Central

    Grazer, Vera M.; Martin, Oliver Y.

    2012-01-01

    It is now generally acknowledged that climate change has wide-ranging biological consequences, potentially leading to impacts on biodiversity. Environmental factors can have diverse and often strong effects on reproduction, with obvious ramifications for population fitness. Nevertheless, reproductive traits are often neglected in conservation considerations. Focusing on animals, recent progress in sexual selection and sexual conflict research suggests that reproductive costs may pose an underestimated hurdle during rapid climate change, potentially lowering adaptive potential and increasing extinction risk of certain populations. Nevertheless, regime shifts may have both negative and positive effects on reproduction, so it is important to acquire detailed experimental data. We hence present an overview of the literature reporting short-term reproductive consequences of exposure to different environmental factors. From the enormous diversity of findings, we conclude that climate change research could benefit greatly from more coordinated efforts incorporating evolutionary approaches in order to obtain cross-comparable data on how individual and population reproductive fitness respond in the long term. Therefore, we propose ideas and methods concerning future efforts dealing with reproductive consequences of climate change, in particular by highlighting the advantages of multi-generational experimental evolution experiments. PMID:24832232

  18. Evolutionary Games with Randomly Changing Payoff Matrices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakushkina, Tatiana; Saakian, David B.; Bratus, Alexander; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2015-06-01

    Evolutionary games are used in various fields stretching from economics to biology. In most of these games a constant payoff matrix is assumed, although some works also consider dynamic payoff matrices. In this article we assume a possibility of switching the system between two regimes with different sets of payoff matrices. Potentially such a model can qualitatively describe the development of bacterial or cancer cells with a mutator gene present. A finite population evolutionary game is studied. The model describes the simplest version of annealed disorder in the payoff matrix and is exactly solvable at the large population limit. We analyze the dynamics of the model, and derive the equations for both the maximum and the variance of the distribution using the Hamilton-Jacobi equation formalism.

  19. Evolutionary rescue from extinction is contingent on a lower rate of environmental change.

    PubMed

    Lindsey, Haley A; Gallie, Jenna; Taylor, Susan; Kerr, Benjamin

    2013-02-28

    The extinction rate of populations is predicted to rise under increasing rates of environmental change. If a population experiencing increasingly stressful conditions lacks appropriate phenotypic plasticity or access to more suitable habitats, then genetic change may be the only way to avoid extinction. Evolutionary rescue from extinction occurs when natural selection enriches a population for more stress-tolerant genetic variants. Some experimental studies have shown that lower rates of environmental change lead to more adapted populations or fewer extinctions. However, there has been little focus on the genetic changes that underlie evolutionary rescue. Here we demonstrate that some evolutionary trajectories are contingent on a lower rate of environmental change. We allowed hundreds of populations of Escherichia coli to evolve under variable rates of increase in concentration of the antibiotic rifampicin. We then genetically engineered all combinations of mutations from isolates evolved under lower rates of environmental change. By assessing fitness of these engineered strains across a range of drug concentrations, we show that certain genotypes are evolutionarily inaccessible under rapid environmental change. Rapidly deteriorating environments not only limit mutational opportunities by lowering population size, but they can also eliminate sets of mutations as evolutionary options. As anthropogenic activities are leading to environmental change at unprecedented rapidity, it is critical to understand how the rate of environmental change affects both demographic and genetic underpinnings of evolutionary rescue.

  20. Life history and evolutionary adaptation of Pacific salmon and its application in management

    SciTech Connect

    Wevers, M.J.

    1993-01-01

    An approach to understanding and managing anadromous salmon, steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus spp.) based on life history and evolutionary adaptive capacities of species and stocks is presented. Species, stocks, and local populations are viewed as systems that are continuously adapting to changing environmental conditions. They have the potential capacity to evolve in different ways in different environments through both life history and evolutionary adaptation. Habitat organization forms a template for genus, species, stock, and local population life history organization. Harvesting, habitat alteration resulting from land use practices and other human activities can alter the organization and adaptive capacities of species and stocks, and thus their long term persistence. The adaptive capacity of Oncorhynchus relative to its habitat and management environment is examined at the species, stock, and local population levels. Life history characteristics of representative stocks and local populations are analyzed using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DECORANA). Fresh water migration distance and latitude are used to [open quotes]explain[close quotes] ordination patterns of Oncorhynchus species in the North Pacific Basin. Fresh water migration difficulty and mean annual runoff as used to interpret life history patterns of Columbia Basin chinook salmon stocks. Upstream migration difficulty and fall water temperatures are used to explain the ordination patterns of local populations of Willamette spring chinook salmon. Fishery management practices are examined in terms of their impacts on the organization and adaptive capacity of species, stocks, and local populations of Oncorhynchus. Management generalizations and guidelines derived from the life history theory are applied to management of Willamette spring chinook salmon.

  1. Communicating Climate Change: An Evolutionary Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peacock, K. A.; Byrne, J. M.; McDaniel, S.

    2012-12-01

    The most effective way to communicate the scientific "big picture" is to appeal to the intelligence and imagination of that large number of people who really want to know what science has to say, and who really would be likely to support enlightened policies if they were given an unflinching picture of the present human predicament. Staff writers at Life Magazine used to be told, "Never overestimate readers' information; never underestimate their intelligence." In the long run, whatever communications channels may be employed, the best hope of moving forward is to appeal to the intelligence of the public. (Media such as wikis, which invite participation, could be one of the best ways to do that.) There are two salient "big picture" facts to be communicated. The first is the ecological unsustainability of the present human condition. There is not the slightest possibility of a long-term future for a planetary-scale, technologically-intensive society of over 7 billion talking hominids that gets most of its free energy from the combustion of a one-time-only store of biotic waste products laid down in the strata hundreds of millions of years ago. Not only is this limited fuel supply running out, but its waste products are rapidly destabilizing the very climatic conditions that favoured the growth of our complex culture. As Homer-Dixon puts it, we are on the "cusp of a planetary-scale emergency"—obvious to earth scientists, but not obvious to all of even the best-intentioned members of the public. The second crucial fact is that our species' capacity to innovate (technologically, linguistically, socially), unique in the history of life on this planet, has up to now been our most effective survival tool and still remains our best chance for pulling through the present crisis. Herbert Spencer said that the most important adaptive trait is what he called "sagacity"—intelligent adaptability. But our sagacity now faces its toughest test, tougher than the harsh Ice Age in

  2. Evolutionary perspectives on learning: conceptual and methodological issues in the study of adaptive specializations.

    PubMed

    Krause, Mark A

    2015-07-01

    Inquiry into evolutionary adaptations has flourished since the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology. Comparative methods, genetic techniques, and various experimental and modeling approaches are used to test adaptive hypotheses. In psychology, the concept of adaptation is broadly applied and is central to comparative psychology and cognition. The concept of an adaptive specialization of learning is a proposed account for exceptions to general learning processes, as seen in studies of Pavlovian conditioning of taste aversions, sexual responses, and fear. The evidence generally consists of selective associations forming between biologically relevant conditioned and unconditioned stimuli, with conditioned responses differing in magnitude, persistence, or other measures relative to non-biologically relevant stimuli. Selective associations for biologically relevant stimuli may suggest adaptive specializations of learning, but do not necessarily confirm adaptive hypotheses as conceived of in evolutionary biology. Exceptions to general learning processes do not necessarily default to an adaptive specialization explanation, even if experimental results "make biological sense". This paper examines the degree to which hypotheses of adaptive specializations of learning in sexual and fear response systems have been tested using methodologies developed in evolutionary biology (e.g., comparative methods, quantitative and molecular genetics, survival experiments). A broader aim is to offer perspectives from evolutionary biology for testing adaptive hypotheses in psychological science.

  3. Adaptive Developmental Delay in Chagas Disease Vectors: An Evolutionary Ecology Approach

    PubMed Central

    Menu, Frédéric; Ginoux, Marine; Rajon, Etienne; Lazzari, Claudio R.; Rabinovich, Jorge E.

    2010-01-01

    Background The developmental time of vector insects is important in population dynamics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and in their responses to global climatic change. In the triatomines (Triatominae, Reduviidae), vectors of Chagas disease, evolutionary ecology concepts, which may allow for a better understanding of their biology, have not been applied. Despite delay in the molting in some individuals observed in triatomines, no effort was made to explain this variability. Methodology We applied four methods: (1) an e-mail survey sent to 30 researchers with experience in triatomines, (2) a statistical description of the developmental time of eleven triatomine species, (3) a relationship between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability, (4) a mathematical optimization model of evolution of developmental delay (diapause). Principal Findings 85.6% of responses informed on prolonged developmental times in 5th instar nymphs, with 20 species identified with remarkable developmental delays. The developmental time analysis showed some degree of bi-modal pattern of the development time of the 5th instars in nine out of eleven species but no trend between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability was observed. Our optimization model predicts that the developmental delays could be due to an adaptive risk-spreading diapause strategy, only if survival throughout the diapause period and the probability of random occurrence of “bad” environmental conditions are sufficiently high. Conclusions/Significance Developmental delay may not be a simple non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity in development time, and could be a form of adaptive diapause associated to a physiological mechanism related to the postponement of the initiation of reproduction, as an adaptation to environmental stochasticity through a spreading of risk (bet-hedging) strategy. We identify a series of parameters that can be measured in the field and laboratory to test

  4. Evolutionary responses to global change: lessons from invasive species.

    PubMed

    Moran, Emily V; Alexander, Jake M

    2014-05-01

    Biologists have recently devoted increasing attention to the role of rapid evolution in species' responses to environmental change. However, it is still unclear what evolutionary responses should be expected, at what rates, and whether evolution will save populations at risk of extinction. The potential of biological invasions to provide useful insights has barely been realised, despite the close analogies to species responding to global change, particularly climate change; in both cases, populations encounter novel climatic and biotic selection pressures, with expected evolutionary responses occurring over similar timescales. However, the analogy is not perfect, and invasive species are perhaps best used as an upper bound on expected change. In this article, we review what invasive species can and cannot teach us about likely evolutionary responses to global change and the constraints on those responses. We also discuss the limitations of invasive species as a model and outline directions for future research.

  5. The evolutionary rate dynamically tracks changes in HIV-1 epidemics

    SciTech Connect

    Maljkovic-berry, Irina; Athreya, Gayathri; Daniels, Marcus; Bruno, William; Korber, Bette; Kuiken, Carla; Ribeiro, Ruy M

    2009-01-01

    Large-sequence datasets provide an opportunity to investigate the dynamics of pathogen epidemics. Thus, a fast method to estimate the evolutionary rate from large and numerous phylogenetic trees becomes necessary. Based on minimizing tip height variances, we optimize the root in a given phylogenetic tree to estimate the most homogenous evolutionary rate between samples from at least two different time points. Simulations showed that the method had no bias in the estimation of evolutionary rates and that it was robust to tree rooting and topological errors. We show that the evolutionary rates of HIV-1 subtype B and C epidemics have changed over time, with the rate of evolution inversely correlated to the rate of virus spread. For subtype B, the evolutionary rate slowed down and tracked the start of the HAART era in 1996. Subtype C in Ethiopia showed an increase in the evolutionary rate when the prevalence increase markedly slowed down in 1995. Thus, we show that the evolutionary rate of HIV-1 on the population level dynamically tracks epidemic events.

  6. Evolutionary and plastic responses to climate change in terrestrial plant populations.

    PubMed

    Franks, Steven J; Weber, Jennifer J; Aitken, Sally N

    2014-01-01

    As climate change progresses, we are observing widespread changes in phenotypes in many plant populations. Whether these phenotypic changes are directly caused by climate change, and whether they result from phenotypic plasticity or evolution, are active areas of investigation. Here, we review terrestrial plant studies addressing these questions. Plastic and evolutionary responses to climate change are clearly occurring. Of the 38 studies that met our criteria for inclusion, all found plastic or evolutionary responses, with 26 studies showing both. These responses, however, may be insufficient to keep pace with climate change, as indicated by eight of 12 studies that examined this directly. There is also mixed evidence for whether evolutionary responses are adaptive, and whether they are directly caused by contemporary climatic changes. We discuss factors that will likely influence the extent of plastic and evolutionary responses, including patterns of environmental changes, species' life history characteristics including generation time and breeding system, and degree and direction of gene flow. Future studies with standardized methodologies, especially those that use direct approaches assessing responses to climate change over time, and sharing of data through public databases, will facilitate better predictions of the capacity for plant populations to respond to rapid climate change.

  7. Evolutionary and plastic responses to climate change in terrestrial plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Steven J; Weber, Jennifer J; Aitken, Sally N

    2014-01-01

    As climate change progresses, we are observing widespread changes in phenotypes in many plant populations. Whether these phenotypic changes are directly caused by climate change, and whether they result from phenotypic plasticity or evolution, are active areas of investigation. Here, we review terrestrial plant studies addressing these questions. Plastic and evolutionary responses to climate change are clearly occurring. Of the 38 studies that met our criteria for inclusion, all found plastic or evolutionary responses, with 26 studies showing both. These responses, however, may be insufficient to keep pace with climate change, as indicated by eight of 12 studies that examined this directly. There is also mixed evidence for whether evolutionary responses are adaptive, and whether they are directly caused by contemporary climatic changes. We discuss factors that will likely influence the extent of plastic and evolutionary responses, including patterns of environmental changes, species’ life history characteristics including generation time and breeding system, and degree and direction of gene flow. Future studies with standardized methodologies, especially those that use direct approaches assessing responses to climate change over time, and sharing of data through public databases, will facilitate better predictions of the capacity for plant populations to respond to rapid climate change. PMID:24454552

  8. The evolutionary and behavioral modification of consumer responses to environmental change.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Peter A

    2014-02-21

    How will evolution or other forms of adaptive change alter the response of a consumer species' population density to environmentally driven changes in population growth parameters? This question is addressed by analyzing some simple consumer-resource models to separate the ecological and evolutionary components of the population's response. Ecological responses are always decreased population size, but evolution of traits that have effects on both resource uptake rate and another fitness-related parameter may magnify, offset, or reverse this population decrease. Evolution can change ecologically driven decreases in population size to increases; this is likely when: (1) resources are initially below the density that maximizes resource growth, and (2) the evolutionary response decreases the consumer's resource uptake rate. Evolutionary magnification of the ecological decreases in population size can occur when the environmental change is higher trait-independent mortality. Such evolution-driven decreases are most likely when uptake-rate traits increase and the resource is initially below its maximum growth density. It is common for the difference between the new eco-evolutionary equilibrium and the new ecological equilibrium to be larger than that between the original and new ecological equilibrium densities. The relative magnitudes of ecological and evolutionary effects often depend sensitively on the magnitude of the environmental change and the nature of resource growth.

  9. Experimental Evidence of an Eco-evolutionary Feedback during Adaptive Divergence.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Blake; Aebischer, Thierry; Sullam, Karen E; Lundsgaard-Hansen, Bänz; Seehausen, Ole

    2016-02-22

    Differences in how organisms modify their environment can evolve rapidly and might influence adaptive population divergence. In a common garden experiment in aquatic mesocosms, we found that adult stickleback from a recently diverged pair of lake and stream populations had contrasting effects on ecosystem metrics. These modifications were caused by both genetic and plastic differences between populations and were sometimes comparable in magnitude to those caused by the presence/absence of stickleback. Lake and stream fish differentially affected the biomass of zooplankton and phytoplankton, the concentration of phosphorus, and the abundance of several prey (e.g., copepods) and non-prey (e.g., cyanobacteria) species. The adult-mediated effects on mesocosm ecosystems influenced the survival and growth of a subsequent generation of juvenile stickleback reared in the same mesocosms. The prior presence of adults decreased the overall growth rate of juveniles, and the prior presence of stream adults lowered overall juvenile survival. Among the survivors, lake juveniles grew faster than co-occurring stream juveniles, except in mesocosm ecosystems previously modified by adult lake fish that were reared on plankton. Overall, our results provide evidence for reciprocal interactions between ecosystem dynamics and evolutionary change (i.e., eco-evolutionary feedbacks) in the early stages of adaptive population divergence.

  10. "Conceptual Change" as both Revolutionary and Evolutionary Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keiny, Shoshana

    2008-01-01

    Our argument concerning the debate around the process of "conceptual change" is that it is both an evolutionary learning process and a revolutionary paradigm change. To gain a deeper understanding of the process, the article focuses on the discourse of educational facilitators participating in a community of learners. Applying the methodology of…

  11. Climate change in the oceans: evolutionary versus phenotypically plastic responses of marine animals and plants

    PubMed Central

    Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2014-01-01

    I summarize marine studies on plastic versus adaptive responses to global change. Due to the lack of time series, this review focuses largely on the potential for adaptive evolution in marine animals and plants. The approaches were mainly synchronic comparisons of phenotypically divergent populations, substituting spatial contrasts in temperature or CO2 environments for temporal changes, or in assessments of adaptive genetic diversity within populations for traits important under global change. The available literature is biased towards gastropods, crustaceans, cnidarians and macroalgae. Focal traits were mostly environmental tolerances, which correspond to phenotypic buffering, a plasticity type that maintains a functional phenotype despite external disturbance. Almost all studies address coastal species that are already today exposed to fluctuations in temperature, pH and oxygen levels. Recommendations for future research include (i) initiation and analyses of observational and experimental temporal studies encompassing diverse phenotypic traits (including diapausing cues, dispersal traits, reproductive timing, morphology) (ii) quantification of nongenetic trans-generational effects along with components of additive genetic variance (iii) adaptive changes in microbe–host associations under the holobiont model in response to global change (iv) evolution of plasticity patterns under increasingly fluctuating environments and extreme conditions and (v) joint consideration of demography and evolutionary adaptation in evolutionary rescue approaches. PMID:24454551

  12. Climate change in the oceans: evolutionary versus phenotypically plastic responses of marine animals and plants.

    PubMed

    Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2014-01-01

    I summarize marine studies on plastic versus adaptive responses to global change. Due to the lack of time series, this review focuses largely on the potential for adaptive evolution in marine animals and plants. The approaches were mainly synchronic comparisons of phenotypically divergent populations, substituting spatial contrasts in temperature or CO2 environments for temporal changes, or in assessments of adaptive genetic diversity within populations for traits important under global change. The available literature is biased towards gastropods, crustaceans, cnidarians and macroalgae. Focal traits were mostly environmental tolerances, which correspond to phenotypic buffering, a plasticity type that maintains a functional phenotype despite external disturbance. Almost all studies address coastal species that are already today exposed to fluctuations in temperature, pH and oxygen levels. Recommendations for future research include (i) initiation and analyses of observational and experimental temporal studies encompassing diverse phenotypic traits (including diapausing cues, dispersal traits, reproductive timing, morphology) (ii) quantification of nongenetic trans-generational effects along with components of additive genetic variance (iii) adaptive changes in microbe-host associations under the holobiont model in response to global change (iv) evolution of plasticity patterns under increasingly fluctuating environments and extreme conditions and (v) joint consideration of demography and evolutionary adaptation in evolutionary rescue approaches.

  13. Low Temperature Adaptation Is Not the Opposite Process of High Temperature Adaptation in Terms of Changes in Amino Acid Composition

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ling-Ling; Tang, Shu-Kun; Huang, Ying; Zhi, Xiao-Yang

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies focused on psychrophilic adaptation generally have demonstrated that multiple mechanisms work together to increase protein flexibility and activity, as well as to decrease the thermostability of proteins. However, the relationship between high and low temperature adaptations remains unclear. To investigate this issue, we collected the available predicted whole proteome sequences of species with different optimal growth temperatures, and analyzed amino acid variations and substitutional asymmetry in pairs of homologous proteins from related species. We found that changes in amino acid composition associated with low temperature adaptation did not exhibit a coherent opposite trend when compared with changes in amino acid composition associated with high temperature adaptation. This result indicates that during their evolutionary histories the proteome-scale evolutionary patterns associated with prokaryotes exposed to low temperature environments were distinct from the proteome-scale evolutionary patterns associated with prokaryotes exposed to high temperature environments in terms of changes in amino acid composition of the proteins. PMID:26614525

  14. Evolutionary responses to climate change in parasitic systems.

    PubMed

    Chaianunporn, Thotsapol; Hovestadt, Thomas

    2015-08-01

    Species may respond to climate change in many ecological and evolutionary ways. In this simulation study, we focus on the concurrent evolution of three traits in response to climate change, namely dispersal probability, temperature tolerance (or niche width), and temperature preference (optimal habitat). More specifically, we consider evolutionary responses in host species involved in different types of interaction, that is parasitism or commensalism, and for low or high costs of a temperature tolerance-fertility trade-off (cost of generalization). We find that host species potentially evolve all three traits simultaneously in response to increasing temperature but that the evolutionary response interacts and may be compensatory depending on the conditions. The evolutionary adjustment of temperature preference is slower in the parasitism than in commensalism scenario. Parasitism, in turn, selects for higher temperature tolerance and increased dispersal. High costs for temperature tolerance (i.e. generalization) restrict evolution of tolerance and thus lead to a faster response in temperature preference than that observed under low costs. These results emphasize the possible role of biotic interactions and the importance of 'multidimensional' evolutionary responses to climate change.

  15. Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-07

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework-natural selection and inheritance-the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification.

  16. Commentary: tempo of evolutionary change in ecological systems.

    PubMed

    Collins, James P

    2015-04-01

    As ecology and evolutionary biology developed during the 20th century one thing that frustrated an integration of research programs in these areas was the assumption that ecological and evolutionary processes operated on very different time scales. In 1961 the ecologist Lawrence Slobodkin reflected this assumption in his distinction between "evolutionary time" and "ecological time." This commentary reflects on the four papers in this Special Section that advance our understanding of the history of research at the intersection of phenotypes, genotypes, ecology, and evolution using plants as study organisms. Early in the 20th century at least some researchers, especially in agricultural systems, were already using observations and experiments to show how natural selection could operate over relatively short time periods and small spatial scales. These four studies offer a more nuanced view of the history of our understanding of the rate of phenotypic change via natural selection and the use of experiments to study evolutionary change. They illuminate the route that has led to the current presumption that in many cases ecological and evolutionary processes may indeed operate on similar, not dissimilar, time scales.

  17. Adaptive Landscapes of Resistance Genes Change as Antibiotic Concentrations Change.

    PubMed

    Mira, Portia M; Meza, Juan C; Nandipati, Anna; Barlow, Miriam

    2015-10-01

    Most studies on the evolution of antibiotic resistance are focused on selection for resistance at lethal antibiotic concentrations, which has allowed the detection of mutant strains that show strong phenotypic traits. However, solely focusing on lethal concentrations of antibiotics narrowly limits our perspective of antibiotic resistance evolution. New high-resolution competition assays have shown that resistant bacteria are selected at relatively low concentrations of antibiotics. This finding is important because sublethal concentrations of antibiotics are found widely in patients undergoing antibiotic therapies, and in nonmedical conditions such as wastewater treatment plants, and food and water used in agriculture and farming. To understand the impacts of sublethal concentrations on selection, we measured 30 adaptive landscapes for a set of TEM β-lactamases containing all combinations of the four amino acid substitutions that exist in TEM-50 for 15 β-lactam antibiotics at multiple concentrations. We found that there are many evolutionary pathways within this collection of landscapes that lead to nearly every TEM-genotype that we studied. While it is known that the pathways change depending on the type of β-lactam, this study demonstrates that the landscapes including fitness optima also change dramatically as the concentrations of antibiotics change. Based on these results we conclude that the presence of multiple concentrations of β-lactams in an environment result in many different adaptive landscapes through which pathways to nearly every genotype are available. Ultimately this may increase the diversity of genotypes in microbial populations.

  18. Adaptive evolution of attack ability promotes the evolutionary branching of predator species.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Wang, Jinliang

    2013-11-01

    In this paper, with the methods of adaptive dynamics and critical function analysis, we investigate the evolutionary branching phenomenon of predator species. We assume that both the prey and predators are density-dependent and the predator's attack ability can adaptively evolve, but this has a cost in terms of its death rate. First, we identify the general properties of trade-off relationships that allow for a continuously stable strategy and evolutionary branching in the predator strategy. It is found that if the trade-off curve is weakly concave near the singular strategy, then the singular strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after the branching has occurred in the predator strategy, if the trade-off curve is convex-concave-convex, the predator species will eventually evolve into two different types, which can stably coexist on the much longer evolutionary timescale and no further branching is possible.

  19. Evolutionary responses of innate Immunity to adaptive immunity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Innate immunity is present in all metazoans, whereas the evolutionarily more novel adaptive immunity is limited to jawed fishes and their descendants (gnathostomes). We observe that the organisms that possess adaptive immunity lack diversity in their innate pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), rais...

  20. Understanding Evolutionary Change within the Framework of Geological Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dodick, Jeff

    2007-01-01

    This paper focuses on a learning strategy designed to overcome students' difficulty in understanding evolutionary change within the framework of geological time. Incorporated into the learning program "From Dinosaurs to Darwin: Evolution from the Perspective of Time," this strategy consists of four scaffolded investigations in which…

  1. Transformational adaptation when incremental adaptations to climate change are insufficient.

    PubMed

    Kates, Robert W; Travis, William R; Wilbanks, Thomas J

    2012-05-08

    All human-environment systems adapt to climate and its natural variation. Adaptation to human-induced change in climate has largely been envisioned as increments of these adaptations intended to avoid disruptions of systems at their current locations. In some places, for some systems, however, vulnerabilities and risks may be so sizeable that they require transformational rather than incremental adaptations. Three classes of transformational adaptations are those that are adopted at a much larger scale, that are truly new to a particular region or resource system, and that transform places and shift locations. We illustrate these with examples drawn from Africa, Europe, and North America. Two conditions set the stage for transformational adaptation to climate change: large vulnerability in certain regions, populations, or resource systems; and severe climate change that overwhelms even robust human use systems. However, anticipatory transformational adaptation may be difficult to implement because of uncertainties about climate change risks and adaptation benefits, the high costs of transformational actions, and institutional and behavioral actions that tend to maintain existing resource systems and policies. Implementing transformational adaptation requires effort to initiate it and then to sustain the effort over time. In initiating transformational adaptation focusing events and multiple stresses are important, combined with local leadership. In sustaining transformational adaptation, it seems likely that supportive social contexts and the availability of acceptable options and resources for actions are key enabling factors. Early steps would include incorporating transformation adaptation into risk management and initiating research to expand the menu of innovative transformational adaptations.

  2. Transformational adaptation when incremental adaptations to climate change are insufficient

    PubMed Central

    Kates, Robert W.; Travis, William R.; Wilbanks, Thomas J.

    2012-01-01

    All human–environment systems adapt to climate and its natural variation. Adaptation to human-induced change in climate has largely been envisioned as increments of these adaptations intended to avoid disruptions of systems at their current locations. In some places, for some systems, however, vulnerabilities and risks may be so sizeable that they require transformational rather than incremental adaptations. Three classes of transformational adaptations are those that are adopted at a much larger scale, that are truly new to a particular region or resource system, and that transform places and shift locations. We illustrate these with examples drawn from Africa, Europe, and North America. Two conditions set the stage for transformational adaptation to climate change: large vulnerability in certain regions, populations, or resource systems; and severe climate change that overwhelms even robust human use systems. However, anticipatory transformational adaptation may be difficult to implement because of uncertainties about climate change risks and adaptation benefits, the high costs of transformational actions, and institutional and behavioral actions that tend to maintain existing resource systems and policies. Implementing transformational adaptation requires effort to initiate it and then to sustain the effort over time. In initiating transformational adaptation focusing events and multiple stresses are important, combined with local leadership. In sustaining transformational adaptation, it seems likely that supportive social contexts and the availability of acceptable options and resources for actions are key enabling factors. Early steps would include incorporating transformation adaptation into risk management and initiating research to expand the menu of innovative transformational adaptations. PMID:22509036

  3. Women in evolution - highlighting the changing face of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Otto, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The face of science has changed. Women now feature alongside men at the forefront of many fields, and this is particularly true in evolutionary biology. This special issue celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of women in evolutionary biology, by highlighting a sample of their research and accomplishments. In addition to original research contributions, this collection of articles contains personal reflections to provide perspective and advice on succeeding as a woman in science. By showcasing the diversity and research excellence of women and drawing on their experiences, we wish to enhance the visibility of female scientists and provide inspiration as well as role models. These are exciting times for evolutionary biology, and the field is richer and stronger for the diversity of voices contributing to the field.

  4. Period Change and Evolutionary Status of SW Tau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devlen, Ahmet; Acar, Mert

    2017-03-01

    In this work, the relation between the period change and evolutionary status of SW Tau, a Type II Cepheid variable, is examined. An (O–C) analysis of the times of maxima of SW Tau has been undertaken to determine this relation. SW Tau has the characteristic light curve shape of BL Her type stars. By taking into consideration SW Tau’s well-defined period decrease, obtained from the photometric observations, its position on the HR diagram in accordance with evolutionary models, and its chemical composition, we demonstrate that SW Tau is a Cepheid crossing the instability strip for the fourth time. SW Tau could be interpreted as being an early AGB star on the blueward evolutionary phase during shell helium burning.

  5. Evolutionary history underlies plant physiological responses to global change since the last glacial maximum.

    PubMed

    Becklin, Katie M; Medeiros, Juliana S; Sale, Kayla R; Ward, Joy K

    2014-06-01

    Assessing family- and species-level variation in physiological responses to global change across geologic time is critical for understanding factors that underlie changes in species distributions and community composition. Here, we used stable carbon isotopes, leaf nitrogen content and stomatal measurements to assess changes in leaf-level physiology in a mixed conifer community that underwent significant changes in composition since the last glacial maximum (LGM) (21 kyr BP). Our results indicate that most plant taxa decreased stomatal conductance and/or maximum photosynthetic capacity in response to changing conditions since the LGM. However, plant families and species differed in the timing and magnitude of these physiological responses, and responses were more similar within families than within co-occurring species assemblages. This suggests that adaptation at the level of leaf physiology may not be the main determinant of shifts in community composition, and that plant evolutionary history may drive physiological adaptation to global change over recent geologic time.

  6. Gene Turnover Contributes to the Evolutionary Adaptation of Acidithiobacillus caldus: Insights from Comparative Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xian; Liu, Xueduan; He, Qiang; Dong, Weiling; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Fan, Fenliang; Peng, Deliang; Huang, Wenkun; Yin, Huaqun

    2016-01-01

    Acidithiobacillus caldus is an extremely acidophilic sulfur-oxidizer with specialized characteristics, such as tolerance to low pH and heavy metal resistance. To gain novel insights into its genetic complexity, we chosen six A. caldus strains for comparative survey. All strains analyzed in this study differ in geographic origins as well as in ecological preferences. Based on phylogenomic analysis, we clustered the six A. caldus strains isolated from various ecological niches into two groups: group 1 strains with smaller genomes and group 2 strains with larger genomes. We found no obvious intraspecific divergence with respect to predicted genes that are related to central metabolism and stress management strategies between these two groups. Although numerous highly homogeneous genes were observed, high genetic diversity was also detected. Preliminary inspection provided a first glimpse of the potential correlation between intraspecific diversity at the genome level and environmental variation, especially geochemical conditions. Evolutionary genetic analyses further showed evidence that the difference in environmental conditions might be a crucial factor to drive the divergent evolution of A. caldus species. We identified a diverse pool of mobile genetic elements including insertion sequences and genomic islands, which suggests a high frequency of genetic exchange in these harsh habitats. Comprehensive analysis revealed that gene gains and losses were both dominant evolutionary forces that directed the genomic diversification of A. caldus species. For instance, horizontal gene transfer and gene duplication events in group 2 strains might contribute to an increase in microbial DNA content and novel functions. Moreover, genomes undergo extensive changes in group 1 strains such as removal of potential non-functional DNA, which results in the formation of compact and streamlined genomes. Taken together, the findings presented herein show highly frequent gene turnover of

  7. Ecological and evolutionary impacts of changing climatic variability.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, Diego P; Gianoli, Ernesto; Morris, William F; Bozinovic, Francisco

    2017-02-01

    While average temperature is likely to increase in most locations on Earth, many places will simultaneously experience higher variability in temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables. Although ecologists and evolutionary biologists widely recognize the potential impacts of changes in average climatic conditions, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential impacts of changes in climatic variability and extremes. We review the evidence on the impacts of increased climatic variability and extremes on physiological, ecological and evolutionary processes at multiple levels of biological organization, from individuals to populations and communities. Our review indicates that climatic variability can have profound influences on biological processes at multiple scales of organization. Responses to increased climatic variability and extremes are likely to be complex and cannot always be generalized, although our conceptual and methodological toolboxes allow us to make informed predictions about the likely consequences of such climatic changes. We conclude that climatic variability represents an important component of climate that deserves further attention.

  8. Biomimetic evolutionary analysis: testing the adaptive value of vertebrate tail stiffness in autonomous swimming robots.

    PubMed

    Long, J H; Koob, T J; Irving, K; Combie, K; Engel, V; Livingston, N; Lammert, A; Schumacher, J

    2006-12-01

    For early vertebrates, a long-standing hypothesis is that vertebrae evolved as a locomotor adaptation, stiffening the body axis and enhancing swimming performance. While supported by biomechanical data, this hypothesis has not been tested using an evolutionary approach. We did so by extending biomimetic evolutionary analysis (BEA), which builds physical simulations of extinct systems, to include use of autonomous robots as proxies of early vertebrates competing in a forage navigation task. Modeled after free-swimming larvae of sea squirts (Chordata, Urochordata), three robotic tadpoles (;Tadros'), each with a propulsive tail bearing a biomimetic notochord of variable spring stiffness, k (N m(-1)), searched for, oriented to, and orbited in two dimensions around a light source. Within each of ten generations, we selected for increased swimming speed, U (m s(-1)) and decreased time to the light source, t (s), average distance from the source, R (m) and wobble maneuvering, W (rad s(-2)). In software simulation, we coded two quantitative trait loci (QTL) that determine k: bending modulus, E (Nm(-2)) and length, L (m). Both QTL were mutated during replication, independently assorted during meiosis and, as haploid gametes, entered into the gene pool in proportion to parental fitness. After random mating created three new diploid genotypes, we fabricated three new offspring tails. In the presence of both selection and chance events (mutation, genetic drift), the phenotypic means of this small population evolved. The classic hypothesis was supported in that k was positively correlated (r(2)=0.40) with navigational prowess, NP, the dimensionless ratio of U to the product of R, t and W. However, the plausible adaptive scenario, even in this simplified system, is more complex, since the remaining variance in NP was correlated with the residuals of R and U taken with respect to k, suggesting that changes in k alone are insufficient to explain the evolution of NP.

  9. Complex adaptive systems and their relevance for nursing: An evolutionary concept analysis.

    PubMed

    Notarnicola, Ippolito; Petrucci, Cristina; De Jesus Barbosa, Maria Rosimar; Giorgi, Fabio; Stievano, Alessandro; Rocco, Gennaro; Lancia, Loreto

    2017-02-08

    This study aimed to analyze the concept of "complex adaptive systems." The construct is still nebulous in the literature, and a further explanation of the idea is needed to have a shared knowledge of it. A concept analysis was conducted utilizing Rodgers evolutionary method. The inclusive years of bibliographic search started from 2005 to 2015. The search was conducted at PubMed©, CINAHL© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Nursing is a complex adaptive system, and the nursing profession in practice exhibits complex adaptive system characteristics. Complexity science through complex adaptive systems provides new ways of seeing and understanding the mechanisms that underpin the nursing profession.

  10. Children's Ability to Learn Evolutionary Explanations for Biological Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shtulman, Andrew; Neal, Cara; Lindquist, Gabrielle

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Evolution by natural selection is often relegated to the high school curriculum on the assumption that younger students cannot grasp its complexity. We sought to test that assumption by teaching children ages 4-12 (n = 96) a selection-based explanation for biological adaptation and comparing their success to that of adults…

  11. The sweet thing about Type 1 diabetes: a cryoprotective evolutionary adaptation.

    PubMed

    Moalem, S; Storey, K B; Percy, M E; Peros, M C; Perl, D P

    2005-01-01

    The reasons for the uneven worldwide distribution of Type 1 diabetes mellitus have yet to be fully explained. Epidemiological studies have shown a higher prevalence of Type 1 diabetes in northern Europe, particularly in Scandinavian countries, and Sardinia. Recent animal research has uncovered the importance of the generation of elevated levels of glucose, glycerol and other sugar derivatives as a physiological means for cold adaptation. High concentrations of these substances depress the freezing point of body fluids and prevent the formation of ice crystals in cells through supercooling, thus acting as a cryoprotectant or antifreeze for vital organs as well as in their muscle tissue. In this paper, we hypothesize that factors predisposing to elevated levels of glucose, glycerol and other sugar derivatives may have been selected for, in part, as adaptive measures in exceedingly cold climates. This cryoprotective adaptation would have protected ancestral northern Europeans from the effects of suddenly increasingly colder climates, such as those believed to have arisen around 14,000 years ago and culminating in the Younger Dryas. When life expectancy was short, factors predisposing to Type 1 diabetes provided a survival advantage. However, deleterious consequences of this condition have become significant only in more modern times, as life expectancy has increased, thus outweighing their protective value. Examples of evolutionary adaptations conferring selection advantages against human pathogens that result in deleterious effects have been previously reported as epidemic pathogenic selection (EPS). Such proposed examples include the cystic fibrosis mutations in the CFTR gene bestowing resistance to Salmonella typhi and hemochromatosis mutations conferring protection against iron-seeking intracellular pathogens. This paper is one of the first accounts of a metabolic disorder providing a selection advantage not against a pathogenic stressor alone, but rather against

  12. U.S. Global Climate Change Impacts Report, Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulwarty, R.

    2009-12-01

    Adaptation measures improve our ability to cope with or avoid harmful climate impacts and take advantage of beneficial ones, now and as climate varies and changes. Adaptation and mitigation are necessary elements of an effective response to climate change. Adaptation options also have the potential to moderate harmful impacts of current and future climate variability and change. The Global Climate Change Impacts Report identifies examples of adaptation-related actions currently being pursued in various sectors and regions to address climate change, as well as other environmental problems that could be exacerbated by climate change such as urban air pollution and heat waves. Some adaptation options that are currently being pursued in various regions and sectors to deal with climate change and/or other environmental issues are identified in this report. A range of adaptation responses can be employed to reduce risks through redesign or relocation of infrastructure, sustainability of ecosystem services, increased redundancy of critical social services, and operational improvements. Adapting to climate change is an evolutionary process and requires both analytic and deliberative decision support. Many of the climate change impacts described in the report have economic consequences. A significant part of these consequences flow through public and private insurance markets, which essentially aggregate and distribute society's risk. However, in most cases, there is currently insufficient robust information to evaluate the practicality, efficiency, effectiveness, costs, or benefits of adaptation measures, highlighting a need for research. Adaptation planning efforts such as that being conducted in New York City and the Colorado River will be described. Climate will be continually changing, moving at a relatively rapid rate, outside the range to which society has adapted in the past. The precise amounts and timing of these changes will not be known with certainty. The

  13. Evolutionary genomics reveals conserved structural determinants of signaling and adaptation in microbial chemoreceptors

    SciTech Connect

    Alexander, Roger P; Jouline, Igor B

    2007-01-01

    As an important model for transmembrane signaling, methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs) have been extensively studied by using genetic, biochemical, and structural techniques. However, details of the molecular mechanism of signaling are still not well understood. The availability of genomic information for hundreds of species enables the identification of features in protein sequences that are conserved over long evolutionary distances and thus are critically important for function. We carried out a large-scale comparative genomic analysis of the MCP signaling and adaptation domain family and identified features that appear to be critical for receptor structure and function. Based on domain length and sequence conservation, we identified seven major MCP classes and three distinct structural regions within the cytoplasmic domain: signaling, methylation, and flexible bundle subdomains. The flexible bundle subdomain, not previously recognized in MCPs, is a conserved element that appears to be important for signal transduction. Remarkably, the N- and C-terminal helical arms of the cytoplasmic domain maintain symmetry in length and register despite dramatic variation, from 24 to 64 7-aa heptads in overall domain length. Loss of symmetry is observed in some MCPs, where it is concomitant with specific changes in the sensory module. Each major MCP class has a distinct pattern of predicted methylation sites that is well supported by experimental data. Our findings indicate that signaling and adaptation functions within the MCP cytoplasmic domain are tightly coupled, and that their coevolution has contributed to the significant diversity in chemotaxis mechanisms among different organisms.

  14. Experimental Evidence for an Eco-Evolutionary Coupling between Local Adaptation and Intraspecific Competition.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Nemirov, Alex; Cattivera, Matthew; Nickerson, Avery

    2016-04-01

    Determining how adaptive evolution can be coupled to ecological processes is key for developing a more integrative understanding of the demographic factors that regulate populations. Intraspecific competition is an especially important ecological process because it generates negative density dependence in demographic rates. Although ecological factors are most often investigated to determine the strength of density dependence, evolutionary processes such as local adaptation could also feed back to shape variation in the strength of density dependence among populations. Using an experimental approach with damselflies, a predaceous aquatic insect, we find evidence that both density-dependent intraspecific competition and local adaptation can reduce per capita growth rates. In some cases, the effects of local adaptation on reducing per capita growth rates exceeded the ecological competitive effects of a doubling of density. However, we also found that these ecological and evolutionary properties of populations are coupled, and we offer two interpretations of the causes underlying this pattern: (1) the strength of density-dependent competition depends on the extent of local adaptation, or (2) the extent of local adaptation is shaped by the strength of density-dependent competition. Regardless of the underlying causal pathway, these results show how eco-evolutionary dynamics can affect a key demographic process regulating populations.

  15. Evolutionary and plastic responses of freshwater invertebrates to climate change: realized patterns and future potential.

    PubMed

    Stoks, Robby; Geerts, Aurora N; De Meester, Luc

    2014-01-01

    We integrated the evidence for evolutionary and plastic trait changes in situ in response to climate change in freshwater invertebrates (aquatic insects and zooplankton). The synthesis on the trait changes in response to the expected reductions in hydroperiod and increases in salinity indicated little evidence for adaptive, plastic, and genetic trait changes and for local adaptation. With respect to responses to temperature, there are many studies on temporal trait changes in phenology and body size in the wild that are believed to be driven by temperature increases, but there is a general lack of rigorous demonstration whether these trait changes are genetically based, adaptive, and causally driven by climate change. Current proof for genetic trait changes under climate change in freshwater invertebrates stems from a limited set of common garden experiments replicated in time. Experimental thermal evolution experiments and common garden warming experiments associated with space-for-time substitutions along latitudinal gradients indicate that besides genetic changes, also phenotypic plasticity and evolution of plasticity are likely to contribute to the observed phenotypic changes under climate change in aquatic invertebrates. Apart from plastic and genetic thermal adjustments, also genetic photoperiod adjustments are widespread and may even dominate the observed phenological shifts.

  16. Evolutionary potential and adaptation of Banksia attenuata (Proteaceae) to climate and fire regime in southwestern Australia, a global biodiversity hotspot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Tianhua; D’Agui, Haylee; Lim, Sim Lin; Enright, Neal J.; Luo, Yiqi

    2016-05-01

    Substantial climate changes are evident across Australia, with declining rainfall and rising temperature in conjunction with frequent fires. Considerable species loss and range contractions have been predicted; however, our understanding of how genetic variation may promote adaptation in response to climate change remains uncertain. Here we characterized candidate genes associated with rainfall gradients, temperatures, and fire intervals through environmental association analysis. We found that overall population adaptive genetic variation was significantly affected by shortened fire intervals, whereas declining rainfall and rising temperature did not have a detectable influence. Candidate SNPs associated with rainfall and high temperature were diverse, whereas SNPs associated with specific fire intervals were mainly fixed in one allele. Gene annotation further revealed four genes with functions in stress tolerance, the regulation of stomatal opening and closure, energy use, and morphogenesis with adaptation to climate and fire intervals. B. attenuata may tolerate further changes in rainfall and temperature through evolutionary adaptations based on their adaptive genetic variation. However, the capacity to survive future climate change may be compromised by changes in the fire regime.

  17. Evolutionary potential and adaptation of Banksia attenuata (Proteaceae) to climate and fire regime in southwestern Australia, a global biodiversity hotspot

    PubMed Central

    He, Tianhua; D’Agui, Haylee; Lim, Sim Lin; Enright, Neal J.; Luo, Yiqi

    2016-01-01

    Substantial climate changes are evident across Australia, with declining rainfall and rising temperature in conjunction with frequent fires. Considerable species loss and range contractions have been predicted; however, our understanding of how genetic variation may promote adaptation in response to climate change remains uncertain. Here we characterized candidate genes associated with rainfall gradients, temperatures, and fire intervals through environmental association analysis. We found that overall population adaptive genetic variation was significantly affected by shortened fire intervals, whereas declining rainfall and rising temperature did not have a detectable influence. Candidate SNPs associated with rainfall and high temperature were diverse, whereas SNPs associated with specific fire intervals were mainly fixed in one allele. Gene annotation further revealed four genes with functions in stress tolerance, the regulation of stomatal opening and closure, energy use, and morphogenesis with adaptation to climate and fire intervals. B. attenuata may tolerate further changes in rainfall and temperature through evolutionary adaptations based on their adaptive genetic variation. However, the capacity to survive future climate change may be compromised by changes in the fire regime. PMID:27210077

  18. Evolutionary potential and adaptation of Banksia attenuata (Proteaceae) to climate and fire regime in southwestern Australia, a global biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    He, Tianhua; D'Agui, Haylee; Lim, Sim Lin; Enright, Neal J; Luo, Yiqi

    2016-05-23

    Substantial climate changes are evident across Australia, with declining rainfall and rising temperature in conjunction with frequent fires. Considerable species loss and range contractions have been predicted; however, our understanding of how genetic variation may promote adaptation in response to climate change remains uncertain. Here we characterized candidate genes associated with rainfall gradients, temperatures, and fire intervals through environmental association analysis. We found that overall population adaptive genetic variation was significantly affected by shortened fire intervals, whereas declining rainfall and rising temperature did not have a detectable influence. Candidate SNPs associated with rainfall and high temperature were diverse, whereas SNPs associated with specific fire intervals were mainly fixed in one allele. Gene annotation further revealed four genes with functions in stress tolerance, the regulation of stomatal opening and closure, energy use, and morphogenesis with adaptation to climate and fire intervals. B. attenuata may tolerate further changes in rainfall and temperature through evolutionary adaptations based on their adaptive genetic variation. However, the capacity to survive future climate change may be compromised by changes in the fire regime.

  19. Adapting to Climate Change: Research Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palutikof, Jean; Romero-Lankao, Patricia

    2009-06-01

    Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability Community Coordination; Boulder, Colorado, 8-9 January 2009; In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) reaffirmed that anthropogenic climate change is under way, that future climate change is unavoidable, and that observed impacts can be attributed, at least in part, to anthropogenic warming. In addition, a growing number of climate change adaptation strategies are being developed around the world, indicating that policy makers are waking up to the reality of climate change. While mitigation efforts remain vital for avoiding the most dangerous impacts, adapting to unavoidable climate change is also essential. The climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (IAV) research community is now being called upon to demonstrate the likely impacts and vulnerabilities associated with future climate changes and to provide scientific advice on the most effective adaptation strategies.

  20. Testing the ecological consequences of evolutionary change using elements

    PubMed Central

    Jeyasingh, Punidan D; Cothran, Rickey D; Tobler, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the ecological consequences of evolutionary change is a central challenge in contemporary biology. We propose a framework based on the ˜25 elements represented in biology, which can serve as a conduit for a general exploration of poorly understood evolution-to-ecology links. In this framework, known as ecological stoichiometry, the quantity of elements in the inorganic realm is a fundamental environment, while the flow of elements from the abiotic to the biotic realm is due to the action of genomes, with the unused elements excreted back into the inorganic realm affecting ecological processes at higher levels of organization. Ecological stoichiometry purposefully assumes distinct elemental composition of species, enabling powerful predictions about the ecological functions of species. However, this assumption results in a simplified view of the evolutionary mechanisms underlying diversification in the elemental composition of species. Recent research indicates substantial intraspecific variation in elemental composition and associated ecological functions such as nutrient excretion. We posit that attention to intraspecific variation in elemental composition will facilitate a synthesis of stoichiometric information in light of population genetics theory for a rigorous exploration of the ecological consequences of evolutionary change. PMID:24634736

  1. Phanerozoic changes in hardpart availability and utilization in benthic communities: evolutionary ecology or evolutionary stratigraphy

    SciTech Connect

    Kidwell, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Published experiments on modern communities and quantitative data from Miocene assemblages indicate that the accumulation of dead hardparts can drive specific changes in the composition of benthic communities (taphonomic feedback). Both opportunities and pathways of taphonomic feedback have changed over the Phanerozoic, however, owing to the evolution and environmental expansion of hardpart producers, utilizers, and destroyers. These changes were tracked using semi-quantitative estimates of hardpart availability based on familial diversity of the most abundant taxa, scored according to preservation potential at or near the seafloor. The data suggest a dramatic increase in hardpart availability from the Cambrian into the later Paleozoic, with a decline through the Mesozoic and Cenozoic related to the loss or dramatic reduction in calcitic epifauna, recliners on soft substrata, and large shelled nekton/plankton. The reduction in opportunities for taphonomic feedback among epifauna was accompanied by an increase in levels of infaunal interactions in the Cenozoic, which is characterized by fully three-dimensional shell gravels. In addition to evolutionary change in body sizes of hardpart producers and biotically-driven declines in certain benthic life habits, the change in pathways of taphonomic feedback was also a consequence of the large-scale shift from predominantly carbonate sedimentation in the Paleozoic to predominantly terrigenous sedimentation in the Cenozoic. For example, the waning of epifauna-dominated communities is closely associated with the restriction of level-bottom carbonate environments through the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The global evolution of sedimentary environments and their relative representation is important not only in its consequences for sampling but as a driving mechanism of evolutionary ecology of marine benthos.

  2. Depression as an evolutionary adaptation: anatomical organisation around the third ventricle.

    PubMed

    Hendrie, C A; Pickles, A R

    2010-04-01

    Currently available antidepressant treatments are no longer seen as the panaceas they once were. Only a proportion of the depressed population respond to them, they have a high relapse rate and a therapeutic lag of several weeks. The notable lack of progress in developing more efficacious drug-based antidepressant therapies over the past half century is a clear signal for the need to adopt new approaches. The current manuscript outlines the proposal that depression is an evolutionary adaptation that emerged where displaced dominants needed to make a transition to lower social status and that is now triggered, in those individuals that have this adaptation, by damage to reproductive potential from any source. The behavioural cluster associated with depression includes adoption of a hunched posture, avoidance of eye contact, loss of appetite for food and sex and sleep disruption. This behavioural cluster serves to reduce an individuals' attack provoking stimuli and so facilitates this social change. When viewed in this context, it becomes clear that many of the brain areas that mediate these behaviours (e.g. the pineal, hypothalamus and amygdala, whose main output, the stria terminalis passes through) all lie in close physical proximity to the third ventricle. In consequence, it is proposed that depression has its origins within this ventricle. Disruption of circadian rhythms, appetite for sex and food and fear/defence responses would all ensue if structures that border the third ventricle, or whose main connections pass through it, were damaged. Therefore, it is hypothesised that the behavioural expression of this adaptation is mediated by a single or pulsatile release of a yet to be identified noxious factor into the ventricular space. This extreme response reflects the severity of the emergency that was faced by our ancestral stock in this situation and has parallels with the development of other adaptations where the preservation of life (and hence the chance for

  3. The consequences of lifetime and evolutionary exposure to toxic prey: changes in avoidance behaviour through ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Robbins, T R; Langkilde, T

    2012-10-01

    Responses to novel threats (e.g. invasive species) can involve genetic changes or plastic shifts in phenotype. There is controversy over the relative importance of these processes for species survival of such perturbations, but we are realizing they are not mutually exclusive. Native eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) have adapted to top-down predation pressure imposed by the invasive red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) via changes in adult (but not juvenile) lizard antipredator behaviour. Here, we examine the largely ignored, but potentially equally important, bottom-up effect of fire ants as toxic prey for lizards. We test how fire ant consumption (or avoidance) is affected by lifetime (via plasticity) and evolutionary (via natural selection) exposure to fire ants by comparing field-caught and laboratory-reared lizards, respectively, from fire ant-invaded and uninvaded populations. More naive juveniles from invaded populations ate fire ants than did adults, reflecting a natural ontogenetic dietary shift away from ants. Laboratory-reared lizards from the invaded site were less likely to eat fire ants than were those from the uninvaded site, suggesting a potential evolutionary shift in feeding behaviour. Lifetime and evolutionary exposure interacted across ontogeny, however, and field-caught lizards from the invaded site exhibited opposite ontogenetic trends; adults were more likely to eat fire ants than were juveniles. Our results suggest that plastic and evolutionary processes may both play important roles in permitting species survival of novel threats. We further reveal how complex interactions can shape adaptive responses to multimodal impacts imposed by invaders: in our system, fire ants impose stronger bottom-up selection than top-down selection, with each selection regime changing differently across lizard ontogeny.

  4. Driving developmental and evolutionary change: A systems biology view.

    PubMed

    Bard, Jonathan

    2013-04-01

    Embryonic development is underpinned by ∼50 core processes that drive morphogenesis, growth, patterning and differentiation, and each is the functional output of a complex molecular network. Processes are thus the natural and parsimonious link between genotype and phenotype and the obvious focus for any discussion of biological change. Here, the implications of this approach are explored. One is that many features of developmental change can be modeled as mathematical graphs, or sets of connected triplets of the general form . In these, the verbs (edges) are the outputs of the processes that drive change and the nouns (nodes) are the time-dependent states of biological entities (from molecules to tissues). Such graphs help unpick the multi-level complexity of developmental phenomena and may help suggest new experiments. Another comes from analyzing the effect of mutation that lead to tinkering with the dynamic properties of these processes and to congenital abnormalities; if these changes are both inherited and advantageous, they become evolutionary modifications. In this context, protein networks often represents what classical evolutionary genetics sees as genes, and the realization that traits reflect the output processes of complex networks, particularly for growth, patterning and pigmentation, rather than anything simpler clarifies some problems that the evolutionary synthesis of the 1950s has found hard to solve. In the wider context, most processes are used many times in development and cooperate to produce tissue modules (bones, branching duct systems, muscles etc.). Their underlying generative networks can thus be thought of as genomic modules or subroutines.

  5. An evolutionary framework for cultural change: Selectionism versus communal exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabora, Liane

    2013-06-01

    Dawkins' replicator-based conception of evolution has led to widespread mis-application of selectionism across the social sciences because it does not address the paradox that necessitated the theory of natural selection in the first place: how do organisms accumulate change when traits acquired over their lifetime are obliterated? This is addressed by von Neumann's concept of a self-replicating automaton (SRA). A SRA consists of a self-assembly code that is used in two distinct ways: (1) actively deciphered during development to construct a self-similar replicant, and (2) passively copied to the replicant to ensure that it can reproduce. Information that is acquired over a lifetime is not transmitted to offspring, whereas information that is inherited during copying is transmitted. In cultural evolution there is no mechanism for discarding acquired change. Acquired change can accumulate orders of magnitude faster than, and quickly overwhelm, inherited change due to differential replication of variants in response to selection. This prohibits a selectionist but not an evolutionary framework for culture and the creative processes that fuel it. The importance non-Darwinian processes in biological evolution is increasingly recognized. Recent work on the origin of life suggests that early life evolved through a non-Darwinian process referred to as communal exchange that does not involve a self-assembly code, and that natural selection emerged from this more haphazard, ancestral evolutionary process. It is proposed that communal exchange provides an evolutionary framework for culture that enables specification of cognitive features necessary for a (real or artificial) societies to evolve culture. This is supported by a computational model of cultural evolution and a conceptual network based program for documenting material cultural history, and it is consistent with high levels of human cooperation.

  6. EMS adaptation for climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, C.; Chang, Y.; Wen, J.; Tsai, M.

    2010-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to find an appropriate scenario of pre-hospital transportation of an emergency medical service (EMS) system for burdensome casualties resulting from extreme climate events. A case of natural catastrophic events in Taiwan, 88 wind-caused disasters, was reviewed and analyzed. A sequential-conveyance method was designed to shorten the casualty transportation time and to promote the efficiency of ambulance services. A proposed mobile emergency medical center was first constructed in a safe area, but nearby the disaster area. The Center consists of professional medical personnel who process the triage of incoming patients and take care of casualties with minor injuries. Ambulances in the Center were ready to sequentially convey the casualties with severer conditions to an assigned hospital that is distant from the disaster area for further treatment. The study suggests that if we could construct a spacious and well-equipped mobile emergency medical center, only a small portion of casualties would need to be transferred to distant hospitals. This would reduce the over-crowding problem in hospital ERs. First-line ambulances only reciprocated between the mobile emergency medical center and the disaster area, saving time and shortening the working distances. Second-line ambulances were highly regulated between the mobile emergency medical center and requested hospitals. The ambulance service of the sequential-conveyance method was found to be more efficient than the conventional method and was concluded to be more profitable and reasonable on paper in adapting to climate change. Therefore, additional practical work should be launched to collect more precise quantitative data.

  7. How much can history constrain adaptive evolution? A real-time evolutionary approach of inversion polymorphisms in Drosophila subobscura.

    PubMed

    Fragata, I; Lopes-Cunha, M; Bárbaro, M; Kellen, B; Lima, M; Santos, M A; Faria, G S; Santos, M; Matos, M; Simões, P

    2014-12-01

    Chromosomal inversions are present in a wide range of animals and plants, having an important role in adaptation and speciation. Although empirical evidence of their adaptive value is abundant, the role of different processes underlying evolution of chromosomal polymorphisms is not fully understood. History and selection are likely to shape inversion polymorphism variation to an extent yet largely unknown. Here, we perform a real-time evolution study addressing the role of historical constraints and selection in the evolution of these polymorphisms. We founded laboratory populations of Drosophila subobscura derived from three locations along the European cline and followed the evolutionary dynamics of inversion polymorphisms throughout the first 40 generations. At the beginning, populations were highly differentiated and remained so throughout generations. We report evidence of positive selection for some inversions, variable between foundations. Signs of negative selection were more frequent, in particular for most cold-climate standard inversions across the three foundations. We found that previously observed convergence at the phenotypic level in these populations was not associated with convergence in inversion frequencies. In conclusion, our study shows that selection has shaped the evolutionary dynamics of inversion frequencies, but doing so within the constraints imposed by previous history. Both history and selection are therefore fundamental to predict the evolutionary potential of different populations to respond to global environmental changes.

  8. Adaptation to climate change in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Mertz, Ole; Halsnaes, Kirsten; Olesen, Jørgen E; Rasmussen, Kjeld

    2009-05-01

    Adaptation to climate change is given increasing international attention as the confidence in climate change projections is getting higher. Developing countries have specific needs for adaptation due to high vulnerabilities, and they will in this way carry a great part of the global costs of climate change although the rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are mainly the responsibility of industrialized countries. This article provides a status of climate change adaptation in developing countries. An overview of observed and projected climate change is given, and recent literature on impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation are reviewed, including the emerging focus on mainstreaming of climate change and adaptation in development plans and programs. The article also serves as an introduction to the seven research articles of this special issue on climate change adaptation in developing countries. It is concluded that although many useful steps have been taken in the direction of ensuring adequate adaptation in developing countries, much work still remains to fully understand the drivers of past adaptation efforts, the need for future adaptation, and how to mainstream climate into general development policies.

  9. Adaptive radiations, ecological specialization, and the evolutionary integration of complex morphological structures.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Leandro R; Nogueira, Marcelo R

    2010-03-01

    The evolutionary integration of complex morphological structures is a macroevolutionary pattern in which morphogenetic components evolve in a coordinated fashion, which can result from the interplay among processes of developmental, genetic integration, and different types of selection. We tested hypotheses of ecological versus developmental factors underlying patterns of within-species and evolutionary integration in the mandible of phyllostomid bats, during the most impressive ecological and morphological radiation among mammals. Shape variation of mandibular morphogenetic components was associated with diet, and the transition of integration patterns from developmental to within-species to evolutionary was examined. Within-species (as a proxy to genetic) integration in different lineages resembled developmental integration regardless of diet specialization, however, evolutionary integration patterns reflected selection in different mandibular components. For dietary specializations requiring extensive functional changes in mastication patterns or biting, such as frugivores and sanguivores, the evolutionary integration pattern was not associated with expected within-species or developmental integration. On the other hand, specializations with lower mastication demands or without major functional reorganization (such as nectarivores and carnivores), presented evolutionary integration patterns similar to the expected developmental pattern. These results show that evolutionary integration patterns are largely a result of independent selection on specific components regardless of developmental modules.

  10. Eco-evolutionary partitioning metrics: assessing the importance of ecological and evolutionary contributions to population and community change.

    PubMed

    Govaert, Lynn; Pantel, Jelena H; De Meester, Luc

    2016-08-01

    Interest in eco-evolutionary dynamics is rapidly increasing thanks to ground-breaking research indicating that evolution can occur rapidly and can alter the outcome of ecological processes. A key challenge in this sub-discipline is establishing how important the contribution of evolutionary and ecological processes and their interactions are to observed shifts in population and community characteristics. Although a variety of metrics to separate and quantify the effects of evolutionary and ecological contributions to observed trait changes have been used, they often allocate fractions of observed changes to ecology and evolution in different ways. We used a mathematical and numerical comparison of two commonly used frameworks - the Price equation and reaction norms - to reveal that the Price equation cannot partition genetic from non-genetic trait change within lineages, whereas the reaction norm approach cannot partition among- from within-lineage trait change. We developed a new metric that combines the strengths of both Price-based and reaction norm metrics, extended all metrics to analyse community change and also incorporated extinction and colonisation of species in these metrics. Depending on whether our new metric is applied to populations or communities, it can correctly separate intraspecific, interspecific, evolutionary, non-evolutionary and interacting eco-evolutionary contributions to trait change.

  11. Evolutionary approach for discovering changing patterns in historical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, Wai-Ho; Chan, Keith C. C.

    2002-03-01

    In this paper, we propose a new data mining approach, called dAR, for discovering interesting association rules and their changes by evolutionary computation. dAR searches through huge rule spaces effectively using a genetic algorithm. It has the following characteristics: (i) it encodes a complete set of rules in one single chromosome; (ii) each allele encodes one rule and each rule is represented by some non-binary symbolic values; (iii) the evolutionary process begins with the generation of an initial set of first-order rules (i.e., rules with one condition) using a probabilistic induction technique and based on these rules, rules of higher order (two or more conditions) are obtained iteratively; (iv) it adopts a steady-state reproduction scheme in which only two chromosomes are replaced every time; (v) when identifying interesting rules, an objective interestingness measure is used; and (vi) the fitness of a chromosome is defined in terms of the probability that the attribute values of a tuple can be correctly determined using the rules it encodes. Furthermore, dAR can also be used to mine the changes in discovered rules over time. This allows the accurate prediction of the future based on the historical data in the past. The experimental results on a synthetic database have shown that dAR is very effective at mining interesting association rules and their changes over time.

  12. Evolutionary changes in plant tolerance against herbivory through a resurrection experiment.

    PubMed

    Bustos-Segura, C; Fornoni, J; Núñez-Farfán, J

    2014-03-01

    Both theoretical and empirical works have highlighted the difference in the evolutionary implications of host resistance and tolerance against their enemies. However, it has been difficult to show evolutionary changes in host defences in natural populations; thus, evaluating theoretical predictions of simultaneous evolution of defences remains a challenge. We studied the evolutionary changes in traits related to resistance and tolerance against herbivory in a natural plant population using seeds from two collections made in a period of 20 years. In a common garden experiment, we compared defensive traits of ancestral (1987) and descendant (2007) subpopulations of the annual plant Datura stramonium that shows genetic variation for tolerance and to which the specialist herbivore Lema daturaphila is locally adapted. We also examined the effects of different plant genotypes on the herbivore for testing the plant genetic variation in resistance. Based on the response to the contemporary herbivore populations, results revealed a nonsignificant response in plant resistance traits (herbivore consumption, foliar trichomes and tropane alkaloids), but a significant one in tolerance. The survival of herbivores in laboratory experiments depended on the plant genotype, which suggests genetic variation in plant resistance. Although we cannot identify the selective agent for the change nor exclude genetic drift, the results are consistent with the expectation that when resistance fails to control herbivory, tolerance should play a more important role in the evolution of the interaction.

  13. Conservation and adaptation to climate change.

    PubMed

    Brooke, Cassandra

    2008-12-01

    The need to adapt to climate change has become increasingly apparent, and many believe the practice of biodiversity conservation will need to alter to face this challenge. Conservation organizations are eager to determine how they should adapt their practices to climate change. This involves asking the fundamental question of what adaptation to climate change means. Most studies on climate change and conservation, if they consider adaptation at all, assume it is equivalent to the ability of species to adapt naturally to climate change as stated in Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Adaptation, however, can refer to an array of activities that range from natural adaptation, at one end of the spectrum, to sustainability science in coupled human and natural systems at the other. Most conservation organizations deal with complex systems in which adaptation to climate change involves making decisions on priorities for biodiversity conservation in the face of dynamic risks and involving the public in these decisions. Discursive methods such as analytic deliberation are useful for integrating scientific knowledge with public perceptions and values, particularly when large uncertainties and risks are involved. The use of scenarios in conservation planning is a useful way to build shared understanding at the science-policy interface. Similarly, boundary organizations-organizations or institutions that bridge different scales or mediate the relationship between science and policy-could prove useful for managing the transdisciplinary nature of adaptation to climate change, providing communication and brokerage services and helping to build adaptive capacity. The fact that some nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are active across the areas of science, policy, and practice makes them well placed to fulfill this role in integrated assessments of biodiversity conservation and adaptation to climate change.

  14. Evolutionary adaptive eye tracking for low-cost human computer interaction applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Yan; Shin, Hak Chul; Sung, Won Jun; Khim, Sarang; Kim, Honglak; Rhee, Phill Kyu

    2013-01-01

    We present an evolutionary adaptive eye-tracking framework aiming for low-cost human computer interaction. The main focus is to guarantee eye-tracking performance without using high-cost devices and strongly controlled situations. The performance optimization of eye tracking is formulated into the dynamic control problem of deciding on an eye tracking algorithm structure and associated thresholds/parameters, where the dynamic control space is denoted by genotype and phenotype spaces. The evolutionary algorithm is responsible for exploring the genotype control space, and the reinforcement learning algorithm organizes the evolved genotype into a reactive phenotype. The evolutionary algorithm encodes an eye-tracking scheme as a genetic code based on image variation analysis. Then, the reinforcement learning algorithm defines internal states in a phenotype control space limited by the perceived genetic code and carries out interactive adaptations. The proposed method can achieve optimal performance by compromising the difficulty in the real-time performance of the evolutionary algorithm and the drawback of the huge search space of the reinforcement learning algorithm. Extensive experiments were carried out using webcam image sequences and yielded very encouraging results. The framework can be readily applied to other low-cost vision-based human computer interactions in solving their intrinsic brittleness in unstable operational environments.

  15. Substrate adaptabilities of Thermotogae mannan binding proteins as a function of their evolutionary histories.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Nathalie; Noll, Kenneth M

    2016-09-01

    The Thermotogae possess a large number of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, including two mannan binding proteins, ManD and CelE (previously called ManE). We show that a gene encoding an ancestor of these was acquired by the Thermotogae from the archaea followed by gene duplication. To address the functional evolution of these proteins as a consequence of their evolutionary histories, we measured the binding affinities of ManD and CelE orthologs from representative Thermotogae. Both proteins bind cellobiose, cellotriose, cellotetraose, β-1,4-mannotriose, and β-1,4-mannotetraose. The CelE orthologs additionally bind β-1,4-mannobiose, laminaribiose, laminaritriose and sophorose while the ManD orthologs additionally only weakly bind β-1,4-mannobiose. The CelE orthologs have higher unfolding temperatures than the ManD orthologs. An examination of codon sites under positive selection revealed that many of these encode residues located near or in the binding site, suggesting that the proteins experienced selective pressures in regions that might have changed their functions. The gene arrangement, phylogeny, binding properties, and putative regulatory networks suggest that the ancestral mannan binding protein was a CelE ortholog which gave rise to the ManD orthologs. This study provides a window on how one class of proteins adapted to new functions and temperatures to fit the physiologies of their new hosts.

  16. A search for evolutionary changes in planetary nuclei: A continuation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Altner, Bruce

    1995-01-01

    This report summarizes the final results of an IUE investigation to search for signs of evolutionary changes in high-mass central stars of planetary nuclei, as evidenced by UV-optical fading over the lifetime of the satellite. The program is a continuation of an earlier investigation, expanding the target list to include more types of hot central stars and to obtain more spectra of previously observed stars. In order to compare the IUE fluxes of a central star obtained over a more-than-ten-year timespan, several steps were necessary, including reprocessing of very early spectra and correction for the sensitivity degradation of the SWP camera over time. The results indicate that while a few stars appear to have diminished UV fluxes compared to earlier IUE observations, the evidence for this is less than overwhelming due to the sparseness of the data. Those stars which emerge from this study as viable candidates for having faded are the cooler Of-type stars (O6f-O7f), i.e., those for which the change in spectral energy with increasing temperature is greatest. The report describes the data analysis steps and discusses the uncertainties in both the data and in the resulting fading rates. Estimates of stellar mass based on theoretical evolutionary rates are also provided.

  17. Neurocomputational Consequences of Evolutionary Connectivity Changes in Perisylvian Language Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2017-01-01

    The human brain sets itself apart from that of its primate relatives by specific neuroanatomical features, especially the strong linkage of left perisylvian language areas (frontal and temporal cortex) by way of the arcuate fasciculus (AF). AF connectivity has been shown to correlate with verbal working memory—a specifically human trait providing the foundation for language abilities—but a mechanistic explanation of any related causal link between anatomical structure and cognitive function is still missing. Here, we provide a possible explanation and link, by using neurocomputational simulations in neuroanatomically structured models of the perisylvian language cortex. We compare networks mimicking key features of cortical connectivity in monkeys and humans, specifically the presence of relatively stronger higher-order “jumping links” between nonadjacent perisylvian cortical areas in the latter, and demonstrate that the emergence of working memory for syllables and word forms is a functional consequence of this structural evolutionary change. We also show that a mere increase of learning time is not sufficient, but that this specific structural feature, which entails higher connectivity degree of relevant areas and shorter sensorimotor path length, is crucial. These results offer a better understanding of specifically human anatomical features underlying the language faculty and their evolutionary selection advantage. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Why do humans have superior language abilities compared to primates? Recently, a uniquely human neuroanatomical feature has been demonstrated in the strength of the arcuate fasciculus (AF), a fiber pathway interlinking the left-hemispheric language areas. Although AF anatomy has been related to linguistic skills, an explanation of how this fiber bundle may support language abilities is still missing. We use neuroanatomically structured computational models to investigate the consequences of evolutionary changes in

  18. Neurocomputational Consequences of Evolutionary Connectivity Changes in Perisylvian Language Cortex.

    PubMed

    Schomers, Malte R; Garagnani, Max; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2017-03-15

    The human brain sets itself apart from that of its primate relatives by specific neuroanatomical features, especially the strong linkage of left perisylvian language areas (frontal and temporal cortex) by way of the arcuate fasciculus (AF). AF connectivity has been shown to correlate with verbal working memory-a specifically human trait providing the foundation for language abilities-but a mechanistic explanation of any related causal link between anatomical structure and cognitive function is still missing. Here, we provide a possible explanation and link, by using neurocomputational simulations in neuroanatomically structured models of the perisylvian language cortex. We compare networks mimicking key features of cortical connectivity in monkeys and humans, specifically the presence of relatively stronger higher-order "jumping links" between nonadjacent perisylvian cortical areas in the latter, and demonstrate that the emergence of working memory for syllables and word forms is a functional consequence of this structural evolutionary change. We also show that a mere increase of learning time is not sufficient, but that this specific structural feature, which entails higher connectivity degree of relevant areas and shorter sensorimotor path length, is crucial. These results offer a better understanding of specifically human anatomical features underlying the language faculty and their evolutionary selection advantage.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Why do humans have superior language abilities compared to primates? Recently, a uniquely human neuroanatomical feature has been demonstrated in the strength of the arcuate fasciculus (AF), a fiber pathway interlinking the left-hemispheric language areas. Although AF anatomy has been related to linguistic skills, an explanation of how this fiber bundle may support language abilities is still missing. We use neuroanatomically structured computational models to investigate the consequences of evolutionary changes in language area

  19. Human Facial Expressions as Adaptations:Evolutionary Questions in Facial Expression Research

    PubMed Central

    SCHMIDT, KAREN L.; COHN, JEFFREY F.

    2007-01-01

    The importance of the face in social interaction and social intelligence is widely recognized in anthropology. Yet the adaptive functions of human facial expression remain largely unknown. An evolutionary model of human facial expression as behavioral adaptation can be constructed, given the current knowledge of the phenotypic variation, ecological contexts, and fitness consequences of facial behavior. Studies of facial expression are available, but results are not typically framed in an evolutionary perspective. This review identifies the relevant physical phenomena of facial expression and integrates the study of this behavior with the anthropological study of communication and sociality in general. Anthropological issues with relevance to the evolutionary study of facial expression include: facial expressions as coordinated, stereotyped behavioral phenotypes, the unique contexts and functions of different facial expressions, the relationship of facial expression to speech, the value of facial expressions as signals, and the relationship of facial expression to social intelligence in humans and in nonhuman primates. Human smiling is used as an example of adaptation, and testable hypotheses concerning the human smile, as well as other expressions, are proposed. PMID:11786989

  20. Assessing urban adaptive capacity to climate change.

    PubMed

    Araya-Muñoz, Dahyann; Metzger, Marc J; Stuart, Neil; Wilson, A Meriwether W; Alvarez, Luis

    2016-12-01

    Despite the growing number of studies focusing on urban vulnerability to climate change, adaptive capacity, which is a key component of the IPCC definition of vulnerability, is rarely assessed quantitatively. We examine the capacity of adaptation in the Concepción Metropolitan Area, Chile. A flexible methodology based on spatial fuzzy modelling was developed to standardise and aggregate, through a stepwise approach, seventeen indicators derived from widely available census statistical data into an adaptive capacity index. The results indicate that all the municipalities in the CMA increased their level of adaptive capacity between 1992 and 2002. However, the relative differences between municipalities did not change significantly over the studied timeframe. Fuzzy overlay allowed us to standardise and to effectively aggregate indicators with differing ranges and granularities of attribute values into an overall index. It also provided a conceptually sound and reproducible means of exploring the interplay of many indicators that individually influence adaptive capacity. Furthermore, it captured the complex, aggregated and continued nature of the adaptive capacity, favouring to deal with gaps of data and knowledge associated with the concept of adaptive capacity. The resulting maps can help identify municipalities where adaptive capacity is weak and identify which components of adaptive capacity need strengthening. Identification of these capacity conditions can stimulate dialogue amongst policymakers and stakeholders regarding how to manage urban areas and how to prioritise resources for urban development in ways that can also improve adaptive capacity and thus reduce vulnerability to climate change.

  1. Climate change adaptation strategies and mitigation policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Fernández, Cristina

    2015-04-01

    The pace of climate change and the consequent warming of the Earth's surface is increasing vulnerability and decreasing adaptive capacity. Achieving a successful adaptation depends on the development of technology, institutional organization, financing availability and the exchange of information. Populations living in arid and semi-arid zones, low-lying coastal areas, land with water shortages or at risk of overflow or small islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Due to increasing population density in sensitive areas, some regions have become more vulnerable to events such as storms, floods and droughts, like the river basins and coastal plains. Human activities have fragmented and increased the vulnerability of ecosystems, which limit both, their natural adaptation and the effectiveness of the measures adopted. Adaptation means to carry out the necessary modifications for society to adapt to new climatic conditions in order to reduce their vulnerability to climate change. Adaptive capacity is the ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) and to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities or face the consequences. Adaptation reduces the adverse impacts of climate change and enhance beneficial impacts, but will not prevent substantial cost that are produced by all damages. The performances require adaptation actions. These are defined and implemented at national, regional or local levels since many of the impacts and vulnerabilities depend on the particular economic, geographic and social circumstances of each country or region. We will present some adaptation strategies at national and local level and revise some cases of its implementation in several vulnerable areas. However, adaptation to climate change must be closely related to mitigation policies because the degree of change planned in different climatic variables is a function of the concentration levels that are achieved

  2. Bigger Is Fitter? Quantitative Genetic Decomposition of Selection Reveals an Adaptive Evolutionary Decline of Body Mass in a Wild Rodent Population

    PubMed Central

    Wandeler, Peter; Camenisch, Glauco

    2017-01-01

    In natural populations, quantitative trait dynamics often do not appear to follow evolutionary predictions. Despite abundant examples of natural selection acting on heritable traits, conclusive evidence for contemporary adaptive evolution remains rare for wild vertebrate populations, and phenotypic stasis seems to be the norm. This so-called “stasis paradox” highlights our inability to predict evolutionary change, which is especially concerning within the context of rapid anthropogenic environmental change. While the causes underlying the stasis paradox are hotly debated, comprehensive attempts aiming at a resolution are lacking. Here, we apply a quantitative genetic framework to individual-based long-term data for a wild rodent population and show that despite a positive association between body mass and fitness, there has been a genetic change towards lower body mass. The latter represents an adaptive response to viability selection favouring juveniles growing up to become relatively small adults, i.e., with a low potential adult mass, which presumably complete their development earlier. This selection is particularly strong towards the end of the snow-free season, and it has intensified in recent years, coinciding which a change in snowfall patterns. Importantly, neither the negative evolutionary change, nor the selective pressures that drive it, are apparent on the phenotypic level, where they are masked by phenotypic plasticity and a non causal (i.e., non genetic) positive association between body mass and fitness, respectively. Estimating selection at the genetic level enabled us to uncover adaptive evolution in action and to identify the corresponding phenotypic selective pressure. We thereby demonstrate that natural populations can show a rapid and adaptive evolutionary response to a novel selective pressure, and that explicitly (quantitative) genetic models are able to provide us with an understanding of the causes and consequences of selection that is

  3. Evolutionary History of Lagomorphs in Response to Global Environmental Change

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Deyan; Wen, Zhixin; Xia, Lin; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Erbajeva, Margarita; Huang, Chengming; Yang, Qisen

    2013-01-01

    Although species within Lagomorpha are derived from a common ancestor, the distribution range and body size of its two extant groups, ochotonids and leporids, are quite differentiated. It is unclear what has driven their disparate evolutionary history. In this study, we compile and update all fossil records of Lagomorpha for the first time, to trace the evolutionary processes and infer their evolutionary history using mitochondrial genes, body length and distribution of extant species. We also compare the forage selection of extant species, which offers an insight into their future prospects. The earliest lagomorphs originated in Asia and later diversified in different continents. Within ochotonids, more than 20 genera occupied the period from the early Miocene to middle Miocene, whereas most of them became extinct during the transition from the Miocene to Pliocene. The peak diversity of the leporids occurred during the Miocene to Pliocene transition, while their diversity dramatically decreased in the late Quaternary. Mantel tests identified a positive correlation between body length and phylogenetic distance of lagomorphs. The body length of extant ochotonids shows a normal distribution, while the body length of extant leporids displays a non-normal pattern. We also find that the forage selection of extant pikas features a strong preference for C3 plants, while for the diet of leporids, more than 16% of plant species are identified as C4 (31% species are from Poaceae). The ability of several leporid species to consume C4 plants is likely to result in their size increase and range expansion, most notably in Lepus. Expansion of C4 plants in the late Miocene, the so-called ‘nature’s green revolution’, induced by global environmental change, is suggested to be one of the major ‘ecological opportunities’, which probably drove large-scale extinction and range contraction of ochotonids, but inversely promoted diversification and range expansion of leporids

  4. Climate change: Cropping system changes and adaptations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change impacts the life of every person; however, there is little comprehensive understanding of the direct and indirect effects of climate change on agriculture. Since our food, feed, fiber, and fruit is derived from agricultural systems, understanding the effects of changing temperature, p...

  5. Public Libraries: Adapting to Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durrance, Joan; Van Fleet, Connie

    1992-01-01

    Reports on a study of changing trends in public libraries. Interviews with public library leaders identified five areas of changing emphasis: information technology, community needs, strategic planning, public relations and marketing, and funding. (seven references) (EA)

  6. Proteomic evidence of a paedomorphic evolutionary process within a marine snail species: a strategy for adapting to extreme ecological conditions?

    PubMed

    Diz, A P; Páez de la Cadena, M; Rolán-Alvarez, E

    2012-12-01

    The exposed and sheltered ecotypes of the marine snail Littorina saxatilis from European rocky shores are considered a key model system to study adaptation and ecological speciation. Previous studies showed that two ecotypes (RB and SU) of this species in NW Spain have adapted differently to different shore levels and microhabitats. In order to understand how this divergent adaptive process has been accomplished, we followed a quantitative proteomic approach to investigate the proteome variation in a number of different biological factors, that is, ecotype, ontogeny and their interactions. This approach allowed testing the hypothesis that one of the ecotypes has evolved by paedomorphosis, and also whether or not the molecular mechanisms related to ecotype differentiation are set up in early developmental stages. Additionally, the identification of some candidate proteins using mass spectrometry provides some functional insights into these evolutionary processes. Results from this study provided evidence of higher ontogenetic differentiation at proteome level in the RB (metamorphic) than in SU (paedomorphic) ecotype that point to the possibility of juvenile stage retention in this latter ecotype. The level of protein expression (proteome) differences between ecotypes maintained nearly constant from late embryonic stages to adulthood, although some proteins involved in these changes considerably differed in embryonic compared to other ontogenetic stages. Paedomorphosis may be the evolutionary response of the SU ecotype of solving the trade-off during sexually immaturity that is caused by the evolution of small size arising from adaptation to the wave-exposed habitat. Some potential candidate genes of adaptation related to energetic metabolism have been identified, providing a promising baseline for future functional analyses.

  7. Adaptation.

    PubMed

    Broom, Donald M

    2006-01-01

    The term adaptation is used in biology in three different ways. It may refer to changes which occur at the cell and organ level, or at the individual level, or at the level of gene action and evolutionary processes. Adaptation by cells, especially nerve cells helps in: communication within the body, the distinguishing of stimuli, the avoidance of overload and the conservation of energy. The time course and complexity of these mechanisms varies. Adaptive characters of organisms, including adaptive behaviours, increase fitness so this adaptation is evolutionary. The major part of this paper concerns adaptation by individuals and its relationships to welfare. In complex animals, feed forward control is widely used. Individuals predict problems and adapt by acting before the environmental effect is substantial. Much of adaptation involves brain control and animals have a set of needs, located in the brain and acting largely via motivational mechanisms, to regulate life. Needs may be for resources but are also for actions and stimuli which are part of the mechanism which has evolved to obtain the resources. Hence pigs do not just need food but need to be able to carry out actions like rooting in earth or manipulating materials which are part of foraging behaviour. The welfare of an individual is its state as regards its attempts to cope with its environment. This state includes various adaptive mechanisms including feelings and those which cope with disease. The part of welfare which is concerned with coping with pathology is health. Disease, which implies some significant effect of pathology, always results in poor welfare. Welfare varies over a range from very good, when adaptation is effective and there are feelings of pleasure or contentment, to very poor. A key point concerning the concept of individual adaptation in relation to welfare is that welfare may be good or poor while adaptation is occurring. Some adaptation is very easy and energetically cheap and

  8. Explanations for adaptations, just-so stories, and limitations on evidence in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Smith, Richard J

    2016-11-01

    Explanations of the historical origin of specific individual traits are a key part of the research program in paleontology and evolutionary biology. Why did bipedalism evolve in the human lineage? Why did some dinosaurs and related species have head crests? Why did viviparity evolve in some reptiles? Why did the common ancestor of primates evolve stereoscopic vision, grasping hands and feet, nails instead of claws, and large brains? These are difficult questions. To varying degrees, an explanation must grapple with (1) judgments about changes in fitness that might follow from a change in morphology - without actually observing behavior or measuring reproductive success, (2) the relationship between genes and traits, (3) limitations on doing relevant experiments, (4) the interpretation of causes that are almost certainly contingent, multifactorial, interactive, hierarchical, nonlinear, emergent, and probabilistic rather than deterministic, (5) limited information about variation and ontogeny, (6) a dataset based on the random fortunes of the historical record, including only partial hard-tissue morphology and no soft-tissue morphology, (7) an equally partial and problematic (for example, time-averaged) record of the environment, (8) the compression of all data into a geological time scale that is likely to miss biologically important events or fluctuations, (9) dependence on a process that can only be inferred ("form and even behavior may leave fossil traces, but forces like natural selection do not", (1:130) ) and finally, (10) the assumption of the "adaptationist programme"(2) that the trait in question is in fact an adaptation rather than a consequence of genetic drift, correlated evolution, pleiotropy, exaptation, or other mechanisms.

  9. Ecological and evolutionary determinants for the adaptive radiation of the Madagascan vangas.

    PubMed

    Jønsson, Knud A; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Fritz, Susanne A; Etienne, Rampal S; Ricklefs, Robert E; Jørgensen, Tobias B; Fjeldså, Jon; Rahbek, Carsten; Ericson, Per G P; Woog, Friederike; Pasquet, Eric; Irestedt, Martin

    2012-04-24

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid diversification of a single lineage into many species that inhabit a variety of environments or use a variety of resources and differ in traits required to exploit these. Why some lineages undergo adaptive radiation is not well-understood, but filling unoccupied ecological space appears to be a common feature. We construct a complete, dated, species-level phylogeny of the endemic Vangidae of Madagascar. This passerine bird radiation represents a classic, but poorly known, avian adaptive radiation. Our results reveal an initial rapid increase in evolutionary lineages and diversification in morphospace after colonizing Madagascar in the late Oligocene some 25 Mya. A subsequent key innovation involving unique bill morphology was associated with a second increase in diversification rates about 10 Mya. The volume of morphospace occupied by contemporary Madagascan vangas is in many aspects as large (shape variation)--or even larger (size variation)--as that of other better-known avian adaptive radiations, including the much younger Galapagos Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers. Morphological space bears a close relationship to diet, substrate use, and foraging movements, and thus our results demonstrate the great extent of the evolutionary diversification of the Madagascan vangas.

  10. Exaptation in human evolution: how to test adaptive vs exaptive evolutionary hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Pievani, Telmo; Serrelli, Emanuele

    2011-01-01

    Palaeontologists, Stephen J. Gould and Elisabeth Vrba, introduced the term "ex-aptation" with the aim of improving and enlarging the scientific language available to researchers studying the evolution of any useful character, instead of calling it an "adaptation" by default, coming up with what Gould named an "extended taxonomy of fitness". With the extension to functional co-optations from non-adaptive structures ("spandrels"), the notion of exaptation expanded and revised the neo-Darwinian concept of "pre-adaptation" (which was misleading, for Gould and Vrba, suggesting foreordination). Exaptation is neither a "saltationist" nor an "anti-Darwinian" concept and, since 1982, has been adopted by many researchers in evolutionary and molecular biology, and particularly in human evolution. Exaptation has also been contested. Objections include the "non-operationality objection".We analyze the possible operationalization of this concept in two recent studies, and identify six directions of empirical research, which are necessary to test "adaptive vs. exaptive" evolutionary hypotheses. We then comment on a comprehensive survey of literature (available online), and on the basis of this we make a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the adoption of the term among scientists who study human evolution. We discuss the epistemic conditions that may have influenced the adoption and appropriate use of exaptation, and comment on the benefits of an "extended taxonomy of fitness" in present and future studies concerning human evolution.

  11. Weather Extremes, Climate Change and Adaptive Governance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veland, S.; Lynch, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Human societies have become a geologic agent of change, and with this is an increasing awareness of the environment risks that confront human activities and values. More frequent and extreme hydroclimate events, anomalous tropical cyclone seasons, heat waves and droughts have all been documented, and many rigorously attributed to fossil fuel emissions (e.g. DeGaetano 2009; Hoyos et al. 2006). These extremes, however, do not register themselves in the abstract - they occur in particular places, affecting particular populations and ecosystems (Turner et al. 2003). This can be considered to present a policy window to decrease vulnerability and enhance emergency management. However, the asymmetrical character of these events may lead some to treat remote areas or disenfranchised populations as capable of absorbing the environmental damage attributable to the collective behavior of those residing in wealthy, populous, industrialized societies (Young 1989). Sound policies for adaptation to changing extremes must take into account the multiple interests and resource constraints for the populations affected and their broader contexts. Minimizing vulnerability to weather extremes is only one of many interests in human societies, and as noted, this interest competes with the others for limited time, attention, funds and other resources. Progress in reducing vulnerability also depends on policy that integrates the best available local and scientific knowledge and experience elsewhere. This improves the chance that each policy will succeed, but there are no guarantees. Each policy must be recognized as a matter of trial and error to some extent; surprises are inevitable. Thus each policy should be designed to fail gracefully if it fails, to learn from the experience, and to leave resources sufficient to implement the lessons learned. Overall policy processes must be quasi-evolutionary, avoiding replication without modification of failed policies and building on the successes

  12. Hybrid fitness, adaptation and evolutionary diversification: lessons learned from Louisiana Irises.

    PubMed

    Arnold, M L; Ballerini, E S; Brothers, A N

    2012-03-01

    Estimates of hybrid fitness have been used as either a platform for testing the potential role of natural hybridization in the evolution of species and species complexes or, alternatively, as a rationale for dismissing hybridization events as being of any evolutionary significance. From the time of Darwin's publication of The Origin, through the neo-Darwinian synthesis, to the present day, the observation of variability in hybrid fitness has remained a challenge for some models of speciation. Yet, Darwin and others have reported the elevated fitness of hybrid genotypes under certain environmental conditions. In modern scientific terminology, this observation reflects the fact that hybrid genotypes can demonstrate genotype × environment interactions. In the current review, we illustrate the development of one plant species complex, namely the Louisiana Irises, into a 'model system' for investigating hybrid fitness and the role of genetic exchange in adaptive evolution and diversification. In particular, we will argue that a multitude of approaches, involving both experimental and natural environments, and incorporating both manipulative analyses and surveys of natural populations, are necessary to adequately test for the evolutionary significance of introgressive hybridization. An appreciation of the variability of hybrid fitness leads to the conclusion that certain genetic signatures reflect adaptive evolution. Furthermore, tests of the frequency of allopatric versus sympatric/parapatric divergence (that is, divergence with ongoing gene flow) support hybrid genotypes as a mechanism of evolutionary diversification in numerous species complexes.

  13. Hybrid fitness, adaptation and evolutionary diversification: lessons learned from Louisiana Irises

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, M L; Ballerini, E S; Brothers, A N

    2012-01-01

    Estimates of hybrid fitness have been used as either a platform for testing the potential role of natural hybridization in the evolution of species and species complexes or, alternatively, as a rationale for dismissing hybridization events as being of any evolutionary significance. From the time of Darwin's publication of The Origin, through the neo-Darwinian synthesis, to the present day, the observation of variability in hybrid fitness has remained a challenge for some models of speciation. Yet, Darwin and others have reported the elevated fitness of hybrid genotypes under certain environmental conditions. In modern scientific terminology, this observation reflects the fact that hybrid genotypes can demonstrate genotype × environment interactions. In the current review, we illustrate the development of one plant species complex, namely the Louisiana Irises, into a ‘model system' for investigating hybrid fitness and the role of genetic exchange in adaptive evolution and diversification. In particular, we will argue that a multitude of approaches, involving both experimental and natural environments, and incorporating both manipulative analyses and surveys of natural populations, are necessary to adequately test for the evolutionary significance of introgressive hybridization. An appreciation of the variability of hybrid fitness leads to the conclusion that certain genetic signatures reflect adaptive evolution. Furthermore, tests of the frequency of allopatric versus sympatric/parapatric divergence (that is, divergence with ongoing gene flow) support hybrid genotypes as a mechanism of evolutionary diversification in numerous species complexes. PMID:21792222

  14. Climate Change and Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This document is a synthesis of science literature on the effects of climate change on agriculture and issues associated with agricultural adaptation to climate change. Information is presented on how long-term changes in air temperatures, precipitation, and atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide wi...

  15. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-08-25

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0-1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales.

  16. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0–1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales. PMID:26261300

  17. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-08-01

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0-1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales.

  18. Climate change adaptation strategies for resource management and conservation planning.

    PubMed

    Lawler, Joshua J

    2009-04-01

    Recent rapid changes in the Earth's climate have altered ecological systems around the globe. Global warming has been linked to changes in physiology, phenology, species distributions, interspecific interactions, and disturbance regimes. Projected future climate change will undoubtedly result in even more dramatic shifts in the states of many ecosystems. These shifts will provide one of the largest challenges to natural resource managers and conservation planners. Managing natural resources and ecosystems in the face of uncertain climate requires new approaches. Here, the many adaptation strategies that have been proposed for managing natural systems in a changing climate are reviewed. Most of the recommended approaches are general principles and many are tools that managers are already using. What is new is a turning toward a more agile management perspective. To address climate change, managers will need to act over different spatial and temporal scales. The focus of restoration will need to shift from historic species assemblages to potential future ecosystem services. Active adaptive management based on potential future climate impact scenarios will need to be a part of everyday operations. And triage will likely become a critical option. Although many concepts and tools for addressing climate change have been proposed, key pieces of information are still missing. To successfully manage for climate change, a better understanding will be needed of which species and systems will likely be most affected by climate change, how to preserve and enhance the evolutionary capacity of species, how to implement effective adaptive management in new systems, and perhaps most importantly, in which situations and systems will the general adaptation strategies that have been proposed work and how can they be effectively applied.

  19. Tuning of patient-specific deformable models using an adaptive evolutionary optimization strategy.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Franck P; Villard, Pierre-Frédéric; Lutton, Evelyne

    2012-10-01

    We present and analyze the behavior of an evolutionary algorithm designed to estimate the parameters of a complex organ behavior model. The model is adaptable to account for patient's specificities. The aim is to finely tune the model to be accurately adapted to various real patient datasets. It can then be embedded, for example, in high fidelity simulations of the human physiology. We present here an application focused on respiration modeling. The algorithm is automatic and adaptive. A compound fitness function has been designed to take into account for various quantities that have to be minimized. The algorithm efficiency is experimentally analyzed on several real test cases: 1) three patient datasets have been acquired with the "breath hold" protocol, and 2) two datasets corresponds to 4-D CT scans. Its performance is compared with two traditional methods (downhill simplex and conjugate gradient descent): a random search and a basic real-valued genetic algorithm. The results show that our evolutionary scheme provides more significantly stable and accurate results.

  20. Common functional targets of adaptive micro- and macro-evolutionary divergence in killifish.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Andrew; Zhang, Shujun; Roach, Jennifer L; Galvez, Fernando

    2013-07-01

    Environmental salinity presents a key barrier to dispersal for most aquatic organisms, and adaptation to alternate osmotic environments likely enables species diversification. Little is known of the functional basis for derived tolerance to environmental salinity. We integrate comparative physiology and functional genomics to explore the mechanistic underpinnings of evolved variation in osmotic plasticity within and among two species of killifish; Fundulus majalis harbours the ancestral mainly salt-tolerant phenotype, whereas Fundulus heteroclitus harbours a derived physiology that retains extreme salt tolerance but with expanded osmotic plasticity towards the freshwater end of the osmotic continuum. Common-garden comparative hypo-osmotic challenge experiments show that F. heteroclitus is capable of remodelling gill epithelia more quickly and at more extreme osmotic challenge than F. majalis. We detect an unusual pattern of baseline transcriptome divergence, where neutral evolutionary processes appear to govern expression divergence within species, but patterns of divergence for these genes between species do not follow neutral expectations. During acclimation, genome expression profiling identifies mechanisms of acclimation-associated response that are conserved within the genus including regulation of paracellular permeability. In contrast, several responses vary among species including those putatively associated with cell volume regulation, and these same mechanisms are targets for adaptive physiological divergence along osmotic gradients within F. heteroclitus. As such, the genomic and physiological mechanisms that are associated with adaptive fine-tuning within species also contribute to macro-evolutionary divergence as species diversify across osmotic niches.

  1. Catalysis of protein folding by chaperones accelerates evolutionary dynamics in adapting cell populations.

    PubMed

    Cetinbaş, Murat; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2013-01-01

    Although molecular chaperones are essential components of protein homeostatic machinery, their mechanism of action and impact on adaptation and evolutionary dynamics remain controversial. Here we developed a physics-based ab initio multi-scale model of a living cell for population dynamics simulations to elucidate the effect of chaperones on adaptive evolution. The 6-loci genomes of model cells encode model proteins, whose folding and interactions in cellular milieu can be evaluated exactly from their genome sequences. A genotype-phenotype relationship that is based on a simple yet non-trivially postulated protein-protein interaction (PPI) network determines the cell division rate. Model proteins can exist in native and molten globule states and participate in functional and all possible promiscuous non-functional PPIs. We find that an active chaperone mechanism, whereby chaperones directly catalyze protein folding, has a significant impact on the cellular fitness and the rate of evolutionary dynamics, while passive chaperones, which just maintain misfolded proteins in soluble complexes have a negligible effect on the fitness. We find that by partially releasing the constraint on protein stability, active chaperones promote a deeper exploration of sequence space to strengthen functional PPIs, and diminish the non-functional PPIs. A key experimentally testable prediction emerging from our analysis is that down-regulation of chaperones that catalyze protein folding significantly slows down the adaptation dynamics.

  2. Evolutionary adaptation of the sensitivity of connexin26 hemichannels to CO2

    PubMed Central

    de Wolf, Elizabeth; Cook, Jonathan

    2017-01-01

    CO2 readily combines with H2O to form and H+. Because an increase of only 100 nM in the concentration of H+ (a decrease of 0.1 unit of pH) in blood can prove fatal, the regulated excretion of CO2 during breathing is an essential life-preserving process. In rodents and humans, this vital process is mediated in part via the direct sensing of CO2 via connexin26 (Cx26). CO2 binds to hemichannels of Cx26 causing them to open and allow release of the neurotransmitter ATP. If Cx26 were to be a universal and important CO2 sensor across all homeothermic animals, then a simple hypothesis would posit that it should exhibit evolutionary adaptation in animals with different homeostatic set points for the regulation of partial pressure of arterial CO2 (PaCO2). In humans and rats, PaCO2 is regulated around a set point of 40 mmHg. By contrast, birds are able to maintain cerebral blood flow and breathing at much lower levels of PaCO2. Fossorial mammals, such as the mole rat, live exclusively underground in burrows that are both hypoxic and hypercapnic and can thrive under very hypercapnic conditions. We have therefore compared the CO2 sensitivity of Cx26 from human, chicken, rat and mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber). We find that both the affinity and cooperativity of CO2 binding to Cx26 have been subjected to evolutionary adaption in a manner consistent with the homeostatic requirements of these four species. This is analogous to the evolutionary adaptation of haemoglobin to the needs of O2 transport across the animal kingdom and supports the hypothesis that Cx26 is an important and universal CO2 sensor in homeotherms. PMID:28148750

  3. Evolutionary adaptation of the sensitivity of connexin26 hemichannels to CO2.

    PubMed

    de Wolf, Elizabeth; Cook, Jonathan; Dale, Nicholas

    2017-02-08

    CO2 readily combines with H2O to form [Formula: see text] and H(+) Because an increase of only 100 nM in the concentration of H(+) (a decrease of 0.1 unit of pH) in blood can prove fatal, the regulated excretion of CO2 during breathing is an essential life-preserving process. In rodents and humans, this vital process is mediated in part via the direct sensing of CO2 via connexin26 (Cx26). CO2 binds to hemichannels of Cx26 causing them to open and allow release of the neurotransmitter ATP. If Cx26 were to be a universal and important CO2 sensor across all homeothermic animals, then a simple hypothesis would posit that it should exhibit evolutionary adaptation in animals with different homeostatic set points for the regulation of partial pressure of arterial CO2 (PaCO2). In humans and rats, PaCO2 is regulated around a set point of 40 mmHg. By contrast, birds are able to maintain cerebral blood flow and breathing at much lower levels of PaCO2 Fossorial mammals, such as the mole rat, live exclusively underground in burrows that are both hypoxic and hypercapnic and can thrive under very hypercapnic conditions. We have therefore compared the CO2 sensitivity of Cx26 from human, chicken, rat and mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber). We find that both the affinity and cooperativity of CO2 binding to Cx26 have been subjected to evolutionary adaption in a manner consistent with the homeostatic requirements of these four species. This is analogous to the evolutionary adaptation of haemoglobin to the needs of O2 transport across the animal kingdom and supports the hypothesis that Cx26 is an important and universal CO2 sensor in homeotherms.

  4. Climate Change Adaptation in the Urban Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Wilbanks, Thomas J

    2011-01-01

    This overview chapter considers five questions that cut across the four case studies in the section to follow: (1) why are urban environments of particular interest; (2) what does an 'urban environment' mean as a focus for adaptation actions, (3) what do we know about climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation potentials in urban areas; (4) what can we expect in the future with adaptation in urban areas; and (5) what is happening with climate change adaptation in urban areas? After decades of inattention, adaptation to risks and impacts of climate change is now receiving long overdue attention, and it is only natural that a considerable share of this attention is focused on the places where most people live. This section considers climate change adaptation in the urban environment, defined as settings where human populations cluster - generally implying relatively large clusters, but not excluding smaller settlements that operate as coherent geopolitical and economic entities. Consistent with the topic of the book, the emphasis of this overview will be on urban environments in developed countries, but it will also draw on knowledge being developed from urban experiences across the globe.

  5. Evolutionary response of landraces to climate change in centers of crop diversity.

    PubMed

    Mercer, Kristin L; Perales, Hugo R

    2010-09-01

    Landraces cultivated in centers of crop diversity result from past and contemporary patterns of natural and farmer-mediated evolutionary forces. Successful in situ conservation of crop genetic resources depends on continuity of these evolutionary processes. Climate change is projected to affect agricultural production, yet analyses of impacts on in situ conservation of crop genetic diversity and farmers who conserve it have been absent. How will crop landraces respond to alterations in climate? We review the roles that phenotypic plasticity, evolution, and gene flow might play in sustaining production, although we might expect erosion of genetic diversity if landrace populations or entire races lose productivity. For example, highland maize landraces in southern Mexico do not express the plasticity necessary to sustain productivity under climate change, but may evolve in response to altered conditions. The outcome for any given crop in a given region will depend on the distribution of genetic variation that affects fitness and patterns of climate change. Understanding patterns of neutral and adaptive diversity from the population to the landscape scale is essential to clarify how landraces conserved in situ will continue to evolve and how to minimize genetic erosion of this essential natural resource.

  6. Evolutionary response of landraces to climate change in centers of crop diversity

    PubMed Central

    Mercer, Kristin L; Perales, Hugo R

    2010-01-01

    Landraces cultivated in centers of crop diversity result from past and contemporary patterns of natural and farmer-mediated evolutionary forces. Successful in situ conservation of crop genetic resources depends on continuity of these evolutionary processes. Climate change is projected to affect agricultural production, yet analyses of impacts on in situ conservation of crop genetic diversity and farmers who conserve it have been absent. How will crop landraces respond to alterations in climate? We review the roles that phenotypic plasticity, evolution, and gene flow might play in sustaining production, although we might expect erosion of genetic diversity if landrace populations or entire races lose productivity. For example, highland maize landraces in southern Mexico do not express the plasticity necessary to sustain productivity under climate change, but may evolve in response to altered conditions. The outcome for any given crop in a given region will depend on the distribution of genetic variation that affects fitness and patterns of climate change. Understanding patterns of neutral and adaptive diversity from the population to the landscape scale is essential to clarify how landraces conserved in situ will continue to evolve and how to minimize genetic erosion of this essential natural resource. PMID:25567941

  7. Design of acoustic metamaterials using the covariance matrix adaptation evolutionary strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Bei; Cheng, Qiang; Song, Gang Yong; Cui, Tie Jun

    2017-03-01

    Acoustic metamaterials can manipulate sound waves in surprising ways, including the focusing, cloaking, and extraordinary transmitting of sound waves. With the increasing requirements for acoustic metamaterials with extreme parameters, we propose the design of acoustic meta-atoms with a large refraction index using the covariance matrix adaptation evolutionary optimization strategy. To validate the procedure, we propose an optimized metamaterial to construct an acoustic deflection lens. The full-wave simulation results are consistent with the theoretical predictions, showing the efficacy and accuracy of the proposed method, and indicating that the optimization algorithm is a powerful tool for designing meta-atoms with excellent applications.

  8. Global climate change and the evolutionary ecology of ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Oswald J

    2013-09-01

    Environmental warming due to global climate change is an important stressor that stands to alter organismal physiology and, ultimately, carbon cycling in ecosystems. Yet the theoretical framework for predicting warming effects on whole-ecosystem carbon balance by way of changes in organismal physiology remains rudimentary. This is because ecosystem science has yet to embrace principles of evolutionary ecology that offer the means to explain how environmental stress on organisms mediates ecosystem carbon dynamics. Here, using selected case studies and a theoretical model, I sketch out one framework that shows how increases in animal metabolic rates in response to thermal stress lead to phenotypically plastic shifts in animal elemental demand, from nitrogen-rich proteins that support production to carbon-rich soluble carbohydrates that support elevated energy demands. I further show how such a switch in resource selection alters the fate of carbon between atmospheric versus animal, plant, and soil pools. The framework shows that animals, despite having relatively low biomass representation in ecosystems, can nonetheless have disproportionately larger effects on carbon cycling in ecosystems whose effects are exacerbated by environmental stressors like climate warming.

  9. Potential for evolutionary responses to climate change – evidence from tree populations

    PubMed Central

    Alberto, Florian J; Aitken, Sally N; Alía, Ricardo; González-Martínez, Santiago C; Hänninen, Heikki; Kremer, Antoine; Lefèvre, François; Lenormand, Thomas; Yeaman, Sam; Whetten, Ross; Savolainen, Outi

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary responses are required for tree populations to be able to track climate change. Results of 250 years of common garden experiments show that most forest trees have evolved local adaptation, as evidenced by the adaptive differentiation of populations in quantitative traits, reflecting environmental conditions of population origins. On the basis of the patterns of quantitative variation for 19 adaptation-related traits studied in 59 tree species (mostly temperate and boreal species from the Northern hemisphere), we found that genetic differentiation between populations and clinal variation along environmental gradients were very common (respectively, 90% and 78% of cases). Thus, responding to climate change will likely require that the quantitative traits of populations again match their environments. We examine what kind of information is needed for evaluating the potential to respond, and what information is already available. We review the genetic models related to selection responses, and what is known currently about the genetic basis of the traits. We address special problems to be found at the range margins, and highlight the need for more modeling to understand specific issues at southern and northern margins. We need new common garden experiments for less known species. For extensively studied species, new experiments are needed outside the current ranges. Improving genomic information will allow better prediction of responses. Competitive and other interactions within species and interactions between species deserve more consideration. Despite the long generation times, the strong background in quantitative genetics and growing genomic resources make forest trees useful species for climate change research. The greatest adaptive response is expected when populations are large, have high genetic variability, selection is strong, and there is ecological opportunity for establishment of better adapted genotypes. PMID:23505261

  10. Time to Evolve? Potential Evolutionary Responses of Fraser River Sockeye Salmon to Climate Change and Effects on Persistence

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Thomas E.; Schindler, Daniel E.; Hague, Merran J.; Patterson, David A.; Meir, Eli; Waples, Robin S.; Hinch, Scott G.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary adaptation affects demographic resilience to climate change but few studies have attempted to project changes in selective pressures or quantify impacts of trait responses on population dynamics and extinction risk. We used a novel individual-based model to explore potential evolutionary changes in migration timing and the consequences for population persistence in sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka in the Fraser River, Canada, under scenarios of future climate warming. Adult sockeye salmon are highly sensitive to increases in water temperature during their arduous upriver migration, raising concerns about the fate of these ecologically, culturally, and commercially important fish in a warmer future. Our results suggest that evolution of upriver migration timing could allow these salmon to avoid increasingly frequent stressful temperatures, with the odds of population persistence increasing in proportion to the trait heritability and phenotypic variance. With a simulated 2°C increase in average summer river temperatures by 2100, adult migration timing from the ocean to the river advanced by ∼10 days when the heritability was 0.5, while the risk of quasi-extinction was only 17% of that faced by populations with zero evolutionary potential (i.e., heritability fixed at zero). The rates of evolution required to maintain persistence under simulated scenarios of moderate to rapid warming are plausible based on estimated heritabilities and rates of microevolution of timing traits in salmon and related species, although further empirical work is required to assess potential genetic and ecophysiological constraints on phenological adaptation. These results highlight the benefits to salmon management of maintaining evolutionary potential within populations, in addition to conserving key habitats and minimizing additional stressors where possible, as a means to build resilience to ongoing climate change. More generally, they demonstrate the importance and

  11. A natural history of the human mind: tracing evolutionary changes in brain and cognition

    PubMed Central

    Sherwood, Chet C; Subiaul, Francys; Zawidzki, Tadeusz W

    2008-01-01

    Since the last common ancestor shared by modern humans, chimpanzees and bonobos, the lineage leading to Homo sapiens has undergone a substantial change in brain size and organization. As a result, modern humans display striking differences from the living apes in the realm of cognition and linguistic expression. In this article, we review the evolutionary changes that occurred in the descent of Homo sapiens by reconstructing the neural and cognitive traits that would have characterized the last common ancestor and comparing these with the modern human condition. The last common ancestor can be reconstructed to have had a brain of approximately 300–400 g that displayed several unique phylogenetic specializations of development, anatomical organization, and biochemical function. These neuroanatomical substrates contributed to the enhancement of behavioral flexibility and social cognition. With this evolutionary history as precursor, the modern human mind may be conceived as a mosaic of traits inherited from a common ancestry with our close relatives, along with the addition of evolutionary specializations within particular domains. These modern human-specific cognitive and linguistic adaptations appear to be correlated with enlargement of the neocortex and related structures. Accompanying this general neocortical expansion, certain higher-order unimodal and multimodal cortical areas have grown disproportionately relative to primary cortical areas. Anatomical and molecular changes have also been identified that might relate to the greater metabolic demand and enhanced synaptic plasticity of modern human brain's. Finally, the unique brain growth trajectory of modern humans has made a significant contribution to our species’ cognitive and linguistic abilities. PMID:18380864

  12. The ecology of a continental evolutionary radiation: Is the radiation of sigmodontine rodents adaptive?

    PubMed

    Maestri, Renan; Monteiro, Leandro Rabello; Fornel, Rodrigo; Upham, Nathan S; Patterson, Bruce D; de Freitas, Thales Renato Ochotorena

    2017-03-01

    Evolutionary radiations on continents are less well-understood and appreciated than those occurring on islands. The extent of ecological influence on species divergence can be evaluated to determine whether a radiation was ultimately the outcome of divergent natural selection or else arose mainly by nonecological divergence. Here, we used phylogenetic comparative methods to test distinct hypotheses corresponding to adaptive and nonadaptive evolutionary scenarios for the morphological evolution of sigmodontine rodents. Results showed that ecological variables (diet and life-mode) explain little of the shape and size variation of sigmodontine skulls and mandibles. A Brownian model with varying rates for insectivory versus all other diets was the most likely evolutionary model. The insectivorous sigmodontines have a faster rate of morphological evolution than mice feeding on other diets, possibly due to stronger selection for features that aid insectivory. We also demonstrate that rapid early-lineage diversification is not accompanied by high morphological divergence among subclades, contrasting with island results. The geographic size of continents permits spatial segregation to a greater extent than on islands, allowing for allopatric distributions and escape from interspecific competition. We suggest that continental radiations of rodents are likely to produce a pattern of high species diversification coupled with a low degree of phenotypic specialization.

  13. Evolutionary adaptations for the temporal processing of natural sounds by the anuran peripheral auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Schrode, Katrina M.; Bee, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Sensory systems function most efficiently when processing natural stimuli, such as vocalizations, and it is thought that this reflects evolutionary adaptation. Among the best-described examples of evolutionary adaptation in the auditory system are the frequent matches between spectral tuning in both the peripheral and central auditory systems of anurans (frogs and toads) and the frequency spectra of conspecific calls. Tuning to the temporal properties of conspecific calls is less well established, and in anurans has so far been documented only in the central auditory system. Using auditory-evoked potentials, we asked whether there are species-specific or sex-specific adaptations of the auditory systems of gray treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) to the temporal modulations present in conspecific calls. Modulation rate transfer functions (MRTFs) constructed from auditory steady-state responses revealed that each species was more sensitive than the other to the modulation rates typical of conspecific advertisement calls. In addition, auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to paired clicks indicated relatively better temporal resolution in green treefrogs, which could represent an adaptation to the faster modulation rates present in the calls of this species. MRTFs and recovery of ABRs to paired clicks were generally similar between the sexes, and we found no evidence that males were more sensitive than females to the temporal modulation patterns characteristic of the aggressive calls used in male–male competition. Together, our results suggest that efficient processing of the temporal properties of behaviorally relevant sounds begins at potentially very early stages of the anuran auditory system that include the periphery. PMID:25617467

  14. The selfing syndrome: a model for studying the genetic and evolutionary basis of morphological adaptation in plants

    PubMed Central

    Sicard, Adrien; Lenhard, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Background In angiosperm evolution, autogamously selfing lineages have been derived from outbreeding ancestors multiple times, and this transition is regarded as one of the most common evolutionary tendencies in flowering plants. In most cases, it is accompanied by a characteristic set of morphological and functional changes to the flowers, together termed the selfing syndrome. Two major areas that have changed during evolution of the selfing syndrome are sex allocation to male vs. female function and flower morphology, in particular flower (mainly petal) size and the distance between anthers and stigma. Scope A rich body of theoretical, taxonomic, ecological and genetic studies have addressed the evolutionary modification of these two trait complexes during or after the transition to selfing. Here, we review our current knowledge about the genetics and evolution of the selfing syndrome. Conclusions We argue that because of its frequent parallel evolution, the selfing syndrome represents an ideal model for addressing basic questions about morphological evolution and adaptation in flowering plants, but that realizing this potential will require the molecular identification of more of the causal genes underlying relevant trait variation. PMID:21303786

  15. Widespread parallel population adaptation to climate variation across a radiation: implications for adaptation to climate change.

    PubMed

    Thorpe, Roger S; Barlow, Axel; Malhotra, Anita; Surget-Groba, Yann

    2015-03-01

    Global warming will impact species in a number of ways, and it is important to know the extent to which natural populations can adapt to anthropogenic climate change by natural selection. Parallel microevolution within separate species can demonstrate natural selection, but several studies of homoplasy have not yet revealed examples of widespread parallel evolution in a generic radiation. Taking into account primary phylogeographic divisions, we investigate numerous quantitative traits (size, shape, scalation, colour pattern and hue) in anole radiations from the mountainous Lesser Antillean islands. Adaptation to climatic differences can lead to very pronounced differences between spatially close populations with all studied traits showing some evidence of parallel evolution. Traits from shape, scalation, pattern and hue (particularly the latter) show widespread evolutionary parallels within these species in response to altitudinal climate variation greater than extreme anthropogenic climate change predicted for 2080. This gives strong evidence of the ability to adapt to climate variation by natural selection throughout this radiation. As anoles can evolve very rapidly, it suggests anthropogenic climate change is likely to be less of a conservation threat than other factors, such as habitat loss and invasive species, in this, Lesser Antillean, biodiversity hot spot.

  16. Differential gene retention as an evolutionary mechanism to generate biodiversity and adaptation in yeasts.

    PubMed

    Morel, Guillaume; Sterck, Lieven; Swennen, Dominique; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Onesime, Djamila; Levasseur, Anthony; Jacques, Noémie; Mallet, Sandrine; Couloux, Arnaux; Labadie, Karine; Amselem, Joëlle; Beckerich, Jean-Marie; Henrissat, Bernard; Van de Peer, Yves; Wincker, Patrick; Souciet, Jean-Luc; Gabaldón, Toni; Tinsley, Colin R; Casaregola, Serge

    2015-06-25

    The evolutionary history of the characters underlying the adaptation of microorganisms to food and biotechnological uses is poorly understood. We undertook comparative genomics to investigate evolutionary relationships of the dairy yeast Geotrichum candidum within Saccharomycotina. Surprisingly, a remarkable proportion of genes showed discordant phylogenies, clustering with the filamentous fungus subphylum (Pezizomycotina), rather than the yeast subphylum (Saccharomycotina), of the Ascomycota. These genes appear not to be the result of Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT), but to have been specifically retained by G. candidum after the filamentous fungi-yeasts split concomitant with the yeasts' genome contraction. We refer to these genes as SRAGs (Specifically Retained Ancestral Genes), having been lost by all or nearly all other yeasts, and thus contributing to the phenotypic specificity of lineages. SRAG functions include lipases consistent with a role in cheese making and novel endoglucanases associated with degradation of plant material. Similar gene retention was observed in three other distantly related yeasts representative of this ecologically diverse subphylum. The phenomenon thus appears to be widespread in the Saccharomycotina and argues that, alongside neo-functionalization following gene duplication and HGT, specific gene retention must be recognized as an important mechanism for generation of biodiversity and adaptation in yeasts.

  17. Differential gene retention as an evolutionary mechanism to generate biodiversity and adaptation in yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Morel, Guillaume; Sterck, Lieven; Swennen, Dominique; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Onesime, Djamila; Levasseur, Anthony; Jacques, Noémie; Mallet, Sandrine; Couloux, Arnaux; Labadie, Karine; Amselem, Joëlle; Beckerich, Jean-Marie; Henrissat, Bernard; Van de Peer, Yves; Wincker, Patrick; Souciet, Jean-Luc; Gabaldón, Toni; Tinsley, Colin R.; Casaregola, Serge

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary history of the characters underlying the adaptation of microorganisms to food and biotechnological uses is poorly understood. We undertook comparative genomics to investigate evolutionary relationships of the dairy yeast Geotrichum candidum within Saccharomycotina. Surprisingly, a remarkable proportion of genes showed discordant phylogenies, clustering with the filamentous fungus subphylum (Pezizomycotina), rather than the yeast subphylum (Saccharomycotina), of the Ascomycota. These genes appear not to be the result of Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT), but to have been specifically retained by G. candidum after the filamentous fungi–yeasts split concomitant with the yeasts’ genome contraction. We refer to these genes as SRAGs (Specifically Retained Ancestral Genes), having been lost by all or nearly all other yeasts, and thus contributing to the phenotypic specificity of lineages. SRAG functions include lipases consistent with a role in cheese making and novel endoglucanases associated with degradation of plant material. Similar gene retention was observed in three other distantly related yeasts representative of this ecologically diverse subphylum. The phenomenon thus appears to be widespread in the Saccharomycotina and argues that, alongside neo-functionalization following gene duplication and HGT, specific gene retention must be recognized as an important mechanism for generation of biodiversity and adaptation in yeasts. PMID:26108467

  18. Cognitive Adaptations for n-person Exchange: The Evolutionary Roots of Organizational Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Tooby, John; Cosmides, Leda; Price, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Organizations are composed of stable, predominantly cooperative interactions or n-person exchanges. Humans have been engaging in n-person exchanges for a great enough period of evolutionary time that we appear to have evolved a distinct constellation of species-typical mechanisms specialized to solve the adaptive problems posed by this form of social interaction. These mechanisms appear to have been evolutionarily elaborated out of the cognitive infrastructure that initially evolved for dyadic exchange. Key adaptive problems that these mechanisms are designed to solve include coordination among individuals, and defense against exploitation by free riders. Multi-individual cooperation could not have been maintained over evolutionary time if free riders reliably benefited more than contributors to collective enterprises, and so outcompeted them. As a result, humans evolved mechanisms that implement an aversion to exploitation by free riding, and a strategy of conditional cooperation, supplemented by punitive sentiment towards free riders. Because of the design of these mechanisms, how free riding is treated is a central determinant of the survival and health of cooperative organizations. The mapping of the evolved psychology of n-party exchange cooperation may contribute to the construction of a principled theoretical foundation for the understanding of human behavior in organizations. PMID:23814325

  19. More rapid climate change promotes evolutionary rescue through selection for increased dispersal distance.

    PubMed

    Boeye, Jeroen; Travis, Justin M J; Stoks, Robby; Bonte, Dries

    2013-02-01

    Species can either adapt to new conditions induced by climate change or shift their range in an attempt to track optimal environmental conditions. During current range shifts, species are simultaneously confronted with a second major anthropogenic disturbance, landscape fragmentation. Using individual-based models with a shifting climate window, we examine the effect of different rates of climate change on the evolution of dispersal distances through changes in the genetically determined dispersal kernel. Our results demonstrate that the rate of climate change is positively correlated to the evolved dispersal distances although too fast climate change causes the population to crash. When faced with realistic rates of climate change, greater dispersal distances evolve than those required for the population to keep track of the climate, thereby maximizing population size. Importantly, the greater dispersal distances that evolve when climate change is more rapid, induce evolutionary rescue by facilitating the population in crossing large gaps in the landscape. This could ensure population persistence in case of range shifting in fragmented landscapes. Furthermore, we highlight problems in using invasion speed as a proxy for potential range shifting abilities under climate change.

  20. Adapting agriculture to climate change: a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anwar, Muhuddin Rajin; Liu, De Li; Macadam, Ian; Kelly, Georgina

    2013-07-01

    The agricultural sector is highly vulnerable to future climate changes and climate variability, including increases in the incidence of extreme climate events. Changes in temperature and precipitation will result in changes in land and water regimes that will subsequently affect agricultural productivity. Given the gradual change of climate in the past, historically, farmers have adapted in an autonomous manner. However, with large and discrete climate change anticipated by the end of this century, planned and transformational changes will be needed. In light of these, the focus of this review is on farm-level and farmers responses to the challenges of climate change both spatially and over time. In this review of adapting agriculture to climate change, the nature, extent, and causes of climate change are analyzed and assessed. These provide the context for adapting agriculture to climate change. The review identifies the binding constraints to adaptation at the farm level. Four major priority areas are identified to relax these constraints, where new initiatives would be required, i.e., information generation and dissemination to enhance farm-level awareness, research and development (R&D) in agricultural technology, policy formulation that facilitates appropriate adaptation at the farm level, and strengthening partnerships among the relevant stakeholders. Forging partnerships among R&D providers, policy makers, extension agencies, and farmers would be at the heart of transformational adaptation to climate change at the farm level. In effecting this transformational change, sustained efforts would be needed for the attendant requirements of climate and weather forecasting and innovation, farmer's training, and further research to improve the quality of information, invention, and application in agriculture. The investment required for these would be highly significant. The review suggests a sequenced approach through grouping research initiatives into short

  1. Operator adaptation to changes in system reliability under adaptable automation.

    PubMed

    Chavaillaz, Alain; Sauer, Juergen

    2016-11-25

    This experiment examined how operators coped with a change in system reliability between training and testing. Forty participants were trained for 3 h on a complex process control simulation modelling six levels of automation (LOA). In training, participants either experienced a high- (100%) or low-reliability system (50%). The impact of training experience on operator behaviour was examined during a 2.5 h testing session, in which participants either experienced a high- (100%) or low-reliability system (60%). The results showed that most operators did not often switch between LOA. Most chose an LOA that relieved them of most tasks but maintained their decision authority. Training experience did not have a strong impact on the outcome measures (e.g. performance, complacency). Low system reliability led to decreased performance and self-confidence. Furthermore, complacency was observed under high system reliability. Overall, the findings suggest benefits of adaptable automation because it accommodates different operator preferences for LOA. Practitioner Summary: The present research shows that operators can adapt to changes in system reliability between training and testing sessions. Furthermore, it provides evidence that each operator has his/her preferred automation level. Since this preference varies strongly between operators, adaptable automation seems to be suitable to accommodate these large differences.

  2. Size as a line of least evolutionary resistance: diet and adaptive morphological radiation in New World monkeys.

    PubMed

    Marroig, Gabriel; Cheverud, James M

    2005-05-01

    New World monkeys (NWM) display substantial variation (two orders of magnitude) in body size. Despite this, variation in skull size and associated shape show a conserved allometric relationship, both within and between genera. Maximum likelihood estimates of quantitative ancestral states were used to compare the direction of morphological differentiation with the phenotypic (p(max)) and genetic (g(max)) lines of least evolutionary resistance (LLER). Diversification in NWM skulls occurred principally along the LLER defined by size variation. We also obtained measures of morphological amount and pace of change using our skull data together with published genetic distances to test whether the LLER influenced the amount and pace of diversification. Moreover, data on an ecological factor (diet) was obtained from the literature and used to test the association of this niche-related measure with the morphological diversification. Two strategies were used to test the association of LLER with the morphological and dietary amount and pace of change, one focusing on both contemporary genera and maximum likelihood reconstructed ancestors and the other using only the 16 contemporary genera in a phylogenetic comparative analysis. Our results suggest that the LLER influenced the path, amount, and pace of morphological change. Evolution also occurred away from the LLER in some taxa but this occurred at a slower pace and resulted in a relatively low amount of morphological change. We found that longer branch lengths (time) are associated with larger differences in p(max) orientation. However, on a macroevolutionary scale there is no such trend. Diet is consistently associated with both absolute size differences and morphological integration patterns, and we suggest that this ecological factor might be driving adaptive radiation in NWM. Invasion of diet-based adaptive zones involves changes in absolute size, due to metabolic and foraging constraints, resulting in simple allometric

  3. Evolutionary suicide through a non-catastrophic bifurcation: adaptive dynamics of pathogens with frequency-dependent transmission.

    PubMed

    Boldin, Barbara; Kisdi, Éva

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary suicide is a riveting phenomenon in which adaptive evolution drives a viable population to extinction. Gyllenberg and Parvinen (Bull Math Biol 63(5):981-993, 2001) showed that, in a wide class of deterministic population models, a discontinuous transition to extinction is a necessary condition for evolutionary suicide. An implicit assumption of their proof is that the invasion fitness of a rare strategy is well-defined also in the extinction state of the population. Epidemic models with frequency-dependent incidence, which are often used to model the spread of sexually transmitted infections or the dynamics of infectious diseases within herds, violate this assumption. In these models, evolutionary suicide can occur through a non-catastrophic bifurcation whereby pathogen adaptation leads to a continuous decline of host (and consequently pathogen) population size to zero. Evolutionary suicide of pathogens with frequency-dependent transmission can occur in two ways, with pathogen strains evolving either higher or lower virulence.

  4. Genome-scale rates of evolutionary change in bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Duchêne, Sebastian; Holt, Kathryn E.; Weill, François-Xavier; Le Hello, Simon; Hawkey, Jane; Edwards, David J.; Fourment, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    Estimating the rates at which bacterial genomes evolve is critical to understanding major evolutionary and ecological processes such as disease emergence, long-term host–pathogen associations and short-term transmission patterns. The surge in bacterial genomic data sets provides a new opportunity to estimate these rates and reveal the factors that shape bacterial evolutionary dynamics. For many organisms estimates of evolutionary rate display an inverse association with the time-scale over which the data are sampled. However, this relationship remains unexplored in bacteria due to the difficulty in estimating genome-wide evolutionary rates, which are impacted by the extent of temporal structure in the data and the prevalence of recombination. We collected 36 whole genome sequence data sets from 16 species of bacterial pathogens to systematically estimate and compare their evolutionary rates and assess the extent of temporal structure in the absence of recombination. The majority (28/36) of data sets possessed sufficient clock-like structure to robustly estimate evolutionary rates. However, in some species reliable estimates were not possible even with ‘ancient DNA’ data sampled over many centuries, suggesting that they evolve very slowly or that they display extensive rate variation among lineages. The robustly estimated evolutionary rates spanned several orders of magnitude, from approximately 10−5 to 10−8 nucleotide substitutions per site year−1. This variation was negatively associated with sampling time, with this relationship best described by an exponential decay curve. To avoid potential estimation biases, such time-dependency should be considered when inferring evolutionary time-scales in bacteria. PMID:28348834

  5. On the evolutionary origin of the adaptive immune system--the adipocyte hypothesis.

    PubMed

    van Niekerk, Gustav; Engelbrecht, Anna-Mart

    2015-04-01

    Jawless vertebrates utilize a form of adaptive immunity that is functionally based on molecular effectors that are completely different from those of vertebrates. This observation raises an intriguing question: why did vertebrates, representing only 5% of all animals, twice evolve a system as complex as adaptive immunity? Theories aimed at identifying a selective pressure that would 'drive' the development of an adaptive immune system (AIS) fail to explain why invertebrates would not similarly develop an AIS. We argue that an AIS can only be implemented in a certain physiological context, i.e., that an AIS represents an unevolvable trait for invertebrates. The immune system is functionally integrated with other systems; therefore a preexisting physiological innovation unique to vertebrates may have acted as the prerequisite infrastructure that allowed the development of an AIS. We propose that future efforts should be directed toward identifying the evolutionary release that allowed the development of an adaptive immune system in vertebrates. In particular, the advent of specialized adipocytes might have expanded the metabolic scope of vertebrates, allowing the opportunistic incorporation of an AIS. However, physiological innovations, unique to (or more developed in) vertebrates, support the implementation of an AIS. Thus, understanding the interaction between systems (e.g. neural-immune-adipose connection) may illuminate our understanding regarding the perplexing immunological dimorphism within the animal kingdom.

  6. The evolutionary strategies of plant defenses have a dynamic impact on the adaptations and interactions of vectors and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Huot, Ordom Brian; Nachappa, Punya; Tamborindeguy, Cecilia

    2013-06-01

    Plants have evolved and diversified to reduce the damages imposed by infectious pathogens and herbivorous insects. Living in a sedentary lifestyle, plants are constantly adapting to their environment. They employ various strategies to increase performance and fitness. Thus, plants developed cost-effective strategies to defend against specific insects and pathogens. Plant defense, however, imposes selective pressure on insects and pathogens. This selective pressure provides incentives for pathogens and insects to diversify and develop strategies to counter plant defense. This results in an evolutionary arms race among plants, pathogens and insects. The ever-changing adaptations and physiological alterations among these organisms make studying plant-vector-pathogen interactions a challenging and fascinating field. Studying plant defense and plant protection requires knowledge of the relationship among organisms and the adaptive strategies each organism utilize. Therefore, this review focuses on the integral parts of plant-vector-pathogen interactions in order to understand the factors that affect plant defense and disease development. The review addresses plant-vector-pathogen co-evolution, plant defense strategies, specificity of plant defenses and plant-vector-pathogen interactions. Improving the comprehension of these factors will provide a multi-dimensional perspective for the future research in pest and disease management.

  7. Data Bus Adapts to Changing Traffic Level

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lew, Eugene; Deruiter, John; Varga, Mike

    1987-01-01

    Access becomes timed when collisions threaten. Two-mode scheme used to grant terminals access to data bus. Causes bus to alternate between random accessibility and controlled accessibility to optimize performance and adapt to changing data-traffic conditions. Bus is part of 100-Mb/s optical-fiber packet data system.

  8. Climate change: believing and seeing implies adapting.

    PubMed

    Blennow, Kristina; Persson, Johannes; Tomé, Margarida; Hanewinkel, Marc

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of factors that trigger human response to climate change is crucial for effective climate change policy communication. Climate change has been claimed to have low salience as a risk issue because it cannot be directly experienced. Still, personal factors such as strength of belief in local effects of climate change have been shown to correlate strongly with responses to climate change and there is a growing literature on the hypothesis that personal experience of climate change (and/or its effects) explains responses to climate change. Here we provide, using survey data from 845 private forest owners operating in a wide range of bio-climatic as well as economic-social-political structures in a latitudinal gradient across Europe, the first evidence that the personal strength of belief and perception of local effects of climate change, highly significantly explain human responses to climate change. A logistic regression model was fitted to the two variables, estimating expected probabilities ranging from 0.07 (SD ± 0.01) to 0.81 (SD ± 0.03) for self-reported adaptive measures taken. Adding socio-demographic variables improved the fit, estimating expected probabilities ranging from 0.022 (SD ± 0.008) to 0.91 (SD ± 0.02). We conclude that to explain and predict adaptation to climate change, the combination of personal experience and belief must be considered.

  9. Head size, weaponry, and cervical adaptation: Testing craniocervical evolutionary hypotheses in Ceratopsia.

    PubMed

    VanBuren, Collin S; Campione, Nicolás E; Evans, David C

    2015-07-01

    The anterior cervical vertebrae form the skeletal connection between the cranial and postcranial skeletons in higher tetrapods. As a result, the morphology of the atlas-axis complex is likely to be shaped by selection pressures acting on either the head or neck. The neoceratopsian (Reptilia:Dinosauria) syncervical represents one of the most highly modified atlas-axis regions in vertebrates, being formed by the complete coalescence of the three most anterior cervical vertebrae. In ceratopsids, the syncervical has been hypothesized to be an adaptation to support a massive skull, or to act as a buttress during intraspecific head-to-head combat. Here, we test these functional/adaptive hypotheses within a phylogenetic framework and critically examine the previously proposed methods for quantifying relative head size in the fossil record for the first time. Results indicate that neither the evolution of cranial weaponry nor large head size correlates with the origin of cervical fusion in ceratopsians, and we, therefore, reject both adaptive hypotheses for the origin of the syncervical. Anterior cervical fusion has evolved independently in a number of amniote clades, and further research on extant groups with this peculiar anatomy is needed to understand the evolutionary basis for cervical fusion in Neoceratopsia.

  10. Adaptive introgression as a resource for management and genetic conservation in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Jill A; Miller, Joshua M

    2016-02-01

    Current rates of climate change require organisms to respond through migration, phenotypic plasticity, or genetic changes via adaptation. We focused on questions regarding species' and populations' ability to respond to climate change through adaptation. Specifically, the role adaptive introgression, movement of genetic material from the genome of 1 species into the genome of another through repeated interbreeding, may play in increasing species' ability to respond to a changing climate. Such interspecific gene flow may mediate extinction risk or consequences of limited adaptive potential that result from standing genetic variation and mutation alone, enabling a quicker demographic recovery in response to changing environments. Despite the near dismissal of the potential benefits of hybridization by conservation practitioners, we examined a number of case studies across different taxa that suggest gene flow between sympatric or parapatric sister species or within species that exhibit strong ecotypic differentiation may represent an underutilized management option to conserve evolutionary potential in a changing environment. This will be particularly true where advanced-generation hybrids exhibit adaptive traits outside the parental phenotypic range, a phenomenon known as transgressive segregation. The ideas presented in this essay are meant to provoke discussion regarding how we maintain evolutionary potential, the conservation value of natural hybrid zones, and consideration of their important role in adaptation to climate.

  11. Adaptation Strategies for Global Environmental Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, D. S.; Corell, R.

    2007-12-01

    The global environmental challenges society faces today are unheralded due to the pace at which human activities are affecting the earth system. The rates of energy consumption, nitrogen use and production, and water use increases each year leading to greater global environmental changes affecting warming of the earth system and loss of ecosystem services. The challenge we face today as a society is the manner and speed at which we can adapt to these changes affecting the ecosystem services we depend upon. Innovative strategies are needed to develop the adaptive management tools to integrate the sectors and science necessary to deal with the complexity of effects. Developing strategies to better guide decision making related to climate change trends into changing weather patterns at meaningful temporal and spatial scales are needed, observations and prognostic analyses of climate related triggers of threshold events in ecosystem dynamics, and transfer of knowledge between science, technology, and decision makers. These strategies need to better integrate science (physical, biological, and social knowledge), engineering, policy, and economics interests to create a framework to develop strategies for adaptation and mitigation to global change and to create bridges with institutions and organizations that deal with these issues as a governmental agency or private sector enterprise.

  12. Stochastic dynamics of adaptive trait and neutral marker driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks.

    PubMed

    Billiard, Sylvain; Ferrière, Régis; Méléard, Sylvie; Tran, Viet Chi

    2015-11-01

    How the neutral diversity is affected by selection and adaptation is investigated in an eco-evolutionary framework. In our model, we study a finite population in continuous time, where each individual is characterized by a trait under selection and a completely linked neutral marker. Population dynamics are driven by births and deaths, mutations at birth, and competition between individuals. Trait values influence ecological processes (demographic events, competition), and competition generates selection on trait variation, thus closing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. The demographic effects of the trait are also expected to influence the generation and maintenance of neutral variation. We consider a large population limit with rare mutation, under the assumption that the neutral marker mutates faster than the trait under selection. We prove the convergence of the stochastic individual-based process to a new measure-valued diffusive process with jumps that we call Substitution Fleming-Viot Process (SFVP). When restricted to the trait space this process is the Trait Substitution Sequence first introduced by Metz et al. (1996). During the invasion of a favorable mutation, a genetical bottleneck occurs and the marker associated with this favorable mutant is hitchhiked. By rigorously analysing the hitchhiking effect and how the neutral diversity is restored afterwards, we obtain the condition for a time-scale separation; under this condition, we show that the marker distribution is approximated by a Fleming-Viot distribution between two trait substitutions. We discuss the implications of the SFVP for our understanding of the dynamics of neutral variation under eco-evolutionary feedbacks and illustrate the main phenomena with simulations. Our results highlight the joint importance of mutations, ecological parameters, and trait values in the restoration of neutral diversity after a selective sweep.

  13. Evolutionary Genomics and Adaptive Evolution of the Hedgehog Gene Family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Jarvis, Erich D.; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog – Shh; Indian hedgehog – Ihh; and Desert hedgehog – Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots. PMID:25549322

  14. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jarvis, Erich D; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots.

  15. Tolerance adaptation and precipitation changes complicate latitudinal patterns of climate change impacts.

    PubMed

    Bonebrake, Timothy C; Mastrandrea, Michael D

    2010-07-13

    Global patterns of biodiversity and comparisons between tropical and temperate ecosystems have pervaded ecology from its inception. However, the urgency in understanding these global patterns has been accentuated by the threat of rapid climate change. We apply an adaptive model of environmental tolerance evolution to global climate data and climate change model projections to examine the relative impacts of climate change on different regions of the globe. Our results project more adverse impacts of warming on tropical populations due to environmental tolerance adaptation to conditions of low interannual variability in temperature. When applied to present variability and future forecasts of precipitation data, the tolerance adaptation model found large reductions in fitness predicted for populations in high-latitude northern hemisphere regions, although some tropical regions had comparable reductions in fitness. We formulated an evolutionary regional climate change index (ERCCI) to additionally incorporate the predicted changes in the interannual variability of temperature and precipitation. Based on this index, we suggest that the magnitude of climate change impacts could be much more heterogeneous across latitude than previously thought. Specifically, tropical regions are likely to be just as affected as temperate regions and, in some regions under some circumstances, possibly more so.

  16. Toward a mechanics of adaptive behavior: evolutionary dynamics and matching theory statics.

    PubMed

    McDowell, J J; Popa, Andrei

    2010-09-01

    One theory of behavior dynamics instantiates the idea that behavior evolves in response to selection pressure from the environment in the form of reinforcement. This computational theory implements Darwinian principles of selection, reproduction, and mutation, which operate on a population of potential behaviors by means of a genetic algorithm. The behavior of virtual organisms animated by this theory may be studied in any experimental environment. The evolutionary theory was tested by comparing the steady-state behavior it generated on concurrent schedules to the description of steady state behavior provided by modern matching theory. Ensemble fits of modern matching theory that enforced its constant-k requirement and the parametric identities required by its equations, accounted for large proportions of data variance, left random residuals, and yielded parameter estimates with values and properties similar to those obtained in experiments with live organisms. These results indicate that the dynamics of the evolutionary theory and the statics of modern matching theory together constitute a good candidate for a mechanics of adaptive behavior.

  17. Toward a Mechanics of Adaptive Behavior: Evolutionary Dynamics and Matching Theory Statics

    PubMed Central

    McDowell, J.J; Popa, Andrei

    2010-01-01

    One theory of behavior dynamics instantiates the idea that behavior evolves in response to selection pressure from the environment in the form of reinforcement. This computational theory implements Darwinian principles of selection, reproduction, and mutation, which operate on a population of potential behaviors by means of a genetic algorithm. The behavior of virtual organisms animated by this theory may be studied in any experimental environment. The evolutionary theory was tested by comparing the steady-state behavior it generated on concurrent schedules to the description of steady state behavior provided by modern matching theory. Ensemble fits of modern matching theory that enforced its constant-k requirement and the parametric identities required by its equations, accounted for large proportions of data variance, left random residuals, and yielded parameter estimates with values and properties similar to those obtained in experiments with live organisms. These results indicate that the dynamics of the evolutionary theory and the statics of modern matching theory together constitute a good candidate for a mechanics of adaptive behavior. PMID:21451751

  18. Managing climate change refugia for climate adaptation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morelli, Toni; Jackson, Stephen T.

    2016-01-01

    Refugia have long been studied from paleontological and biogeographical perspectives to understand how populations persisted during past periods of unfavorable climate. Recently, researchers have applied the idea to contemporary landscapes to identify climate change refugia, here defined as areas relatively buffered from contemporary climate change over time that enable persistence of valued physical, ecological, and socio-cultural resources. We differentiate historical and contemporary views, and characterize physical and ecological processes that create and maintain climate change refugia. We then delineate how refugia can fit into existing decision support frameworks for climate adaptation and describe seven steps for managing them. Finally, we identify challenges and opportunities for operationalizing the concept of climate change refugia. Managing climate change refugia can be an important option for conservation in the face of ongoing climate change.

  19. Managing Climate Change Refugia for Climate Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Daly, Christopher; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Dulen, Deanna M.; Ebersole, Joseph L.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Lundquist, Jessica D.; Millar, Constance I.; Maher, Sean P.; Monahan, William B.; Nydick, Koren R.; Redmond, Kelly T.; Sawyer, Sarah C.; Stock, Sarah; Beissinger, Steven R.

    2016-01-01

    Refugia have long been studied from paleontological and biogeographical perspectives to understand how populations persisted during past periods of unfavorable climate. Recently, researchers have applied the idea to contemporary landscapes to identify climate change refugia, here defined as areas relatively buffered from contemporary climate change over time that enable persistence of valued physical, ecological, and socio-cultural resources. We differentiate historical and contemporary views, and characterize physical and ecological processes that create and maintain climate change refugia. We then delineate how refugia can fit into existing decision support frameworks for climate adaptation and describe seven steps for managing them. Finally, we identify challenges and opportunities for operationalizing the concept of climate change refugia. Managing climate change refugia can be an important option for conservation in the face of ongoing climate change. PMID:27509088

  20. Managing Climate Change Refugia for Climate Adaptation.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Toni Lyn; Daly, Christopher; Dobrowski, Solomon Z; Dulen, Deanna M; Ebersole, Joseph L; Jackson, Stephen T; Lundquist, Jessica D; Millar, Constance I; Maher, Sean P; Monahan, William B; Nydick, Koren R; Redmond, Kelly T; Sawyer, Sarah C; Stock, Sarah; Beissinger, Steven R

    2016-01-01

    Refugia have long been studied from paleontological and biogeographical perspectives to understand how populations persisted during past periods of unfavorable climate. Recently, researchers have applied the idea to contemporary landscapes to identify climate change refugia, here defined as areas relatively buffered from contemporary climate change over time that enable persistence of valued physical, ecological, and socio-cultural resources. We differentiate historical and contemporary views, and characterize physical and ecological processes that create and maintain climate change refugia. We then delineate how refugia can fit into existing decision support frameworks for climate adaptation and describe seven steps for managing them. Finally, we identify challenges and opportunities for operationalizing the concept of climate change refugia. Managing climate change refugia can be an important option for conservation in the face of ongoing climate change.

  1. The puzzle of partial migration: Adaptive dynamics and evolutionary game theory perspectives.

    PubMed

    De Leenheer, Patrick; Mohapatra, Anushaya; Ohms, Haley A; Lytle, David A; Cushing, J M

    2017-01-07

    We consider the phenomenon of partial migration which is exhibited by populations in which some individuals migrate between habitats during their lifetime, but others do not. First, using an adaptive dynamics approach, we show that partial migration can be explained on the basis of negative density dependence in the per capita fertilities alone, provided that this density dependence is attenuated for increasing abundances of the subtypes that make up the population. We present an exact formula for the optimal proportion of migrants which is expressed in terms of the vital rates of migrant and non-migrant subtypes only. We show that this allocation strategy is both an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) as well as a convergence stable strategy (CSS). To establish the former, we generalize the classical notion of an ESS because it is based on invasion exponents obtained from linearization arguments, which fail to capture the stabilizing effects of the nonlinear density dependence. These results clarify precisely when the notion of a "weak ESS", as proposed in Lundberg (2013) for a related model, is a genuine ESS. Secondly, we use an evolutionary game theory approach, and confirm, once again, that partial migration can be attributed to negative density dependence alone. In this context, the result holds even when density dependence is not attenuated. In this case, the optimal allocation strategy towards migrants is the same as the ESS stemming from the analysis based on the adaptive dynamics. The key feature of the population models considered here is that they are monotone dynamical systems, which enables a rather comprehensive mathematical analysis.

  2. Managing Climate Change Refugia for Climate Adaptation ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The concept of refugia has long been studied from theoretical and paleontological perspectives to understand how populations persisted during past periods of unfavorable climate. Recently, researchers have applied the idea to contemporary landscapes to identify climate change refugia, locations that may be unusually buffered from climate change effects so as to increase persistence of valued resources. Here we distinguish between paleoecological and contemporary viewpoints, characterize physical and ecological processes that create and maintain climate change refugia, summarize the process of identifying and mapping them, and delineate how refugia can fit into the existing framework of natural resource management. We also suggest three primary courses of action at these sites: prioritization, protection, and propagation. Although not a panacea, managing climate change refugia can be an important adaptation option for conserving valuable resources in the face of ongoing and future climate change. “In a nutshell” (100 words) • Climate change refugia are defined as areas relatively buffered from contemporary climate change, enabling persistence of valued physical, ecological, and cultural resources. • Refugia can be incorporated as key components of a climate adaptation strategy because their prioritization by management may enable their associated resources to persist locally and eventually spread to future suitable habitat. • Steps for

  3. Molecular and cellular bases of adaptation to a changing environment in microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Bleuven, Clara

    2016-01-01

    Environmental heterogeneity constitutes an evolutionary challenge for organisms. While evolutionary dynamics under variable conditions has been explored for decades, we still know relatively little about the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved. It is of paramount importance to examine these molecular bases because they may play an important role in shaping the course of evolution. In this review, we examine the diversity of adaptive mechanisms in the face of environmental changes. We exploit the recent literature on microbial systems because those have benefited the most from the recent emergence of genetic engineering and experimental evolution followed by genome sequencing. We identify four emerging trends: (i) an adaptive molecular change in a pathway often results in fitness trade-off in alternative environments but the effects are dependent on a mutation's genetic background; (ii) adaptive changes often modify transcriptional and signalling pathways; (iii) several adaptive changes may occur within the same molecular pathway but be associated with pleiotropy of different signs across environments; (iv) because of their large associated costs, macromolecular changes such as gene amplification and aneuploidy may be a rapid mechanism of adaptation in the short-term only. The course of adaptation in a variable environment, therefore, depends on the complexity of the environment but also on the molecular relationships among the genes involved and between the genes and the phenotypes under selection. PMID:27798299

  4. Molecular and cellular bases of adaptation to a changing environment in microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Bleuven, Clara; Landry, Christian R

    2016-10-26

    Environmental heterogeneity constitutes an evolutionary challenge for organisms. While evolutionary dynamics under variable conditions has been explored for decades, we still know relatively little about the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved. It is of paramount importance to examine these molecular bases because they may play an important role in shaping the course of evolution. In this review, we examine the diversity of adaptive mechanisms in the face of environmental changes. We exploit the recent literature on microbial systems because those have benefited the most from the recent emergence of genetic engineering and experimental evolution followed by genome sequencing. We identify four emerging trends: (i) an adaptive molecular change in a pathway often results in fitness trade-off in alternative environments but the effects are dependent on a mutation's genetic background; (ii) adaptive changes often modify transcriptional and signalling pathways; (iii) several adaptive changes may occur within the same molecular pathway but be associated with pleiotropy of different signs across environments; (iv) because of their large associated costs, macromolecular changes such as gene amplification and aneuploidy may be a rapid mechanism of adaptation in the short-term only. The course of adaptation in a variable environment, therefore, depends on the complexity of the environment but also on the molecular relationships among the genes involved and between the genes and the phenotypes under selection.

  5. Changing social contracts in climate-change adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adger, W. Neil; Quinn, Tara; Lorenzoni, Irene; Murphy, Conor; Sweeney, John

    2013-04-01

    Risks from extreme weather events are mediated through state, civil society and individual action. We propose evolving social contracts as a primary mechanism by which adaptation to climate change proceeds. We use a natural experiment of policy and social contexts of the UK and Ireland affected by the same meteorological event and resultant flooding in November 2009. We analyse data from policy documents and from household surveys of 356 residents in western Ireland and northwest England. We find significant differences between perceptions of individual responsibility for protection across the jurisdictions and between perceptions of future risk from populations directly affected by flooding events. These explain differences in stated willingness to take individual adaptive actions when state support retrenches. We therefore show that expectations for state protection are critical in mediating impacts and promoting longer-term adaptation. We argue that making social contracts explicit may smooth pathways to effective and legitimate adaptation.

  6. Cellular modes of adaptation to environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huckle, William R.

    2001-10-01

    Eukaryotic cells are remarkably adaptable entities. Whether embedded in solid tissues or freely suspended in blood or other fluids, cells principally exist in an aqueous environment but maintain a hydrophobic barrier, the plasma membrane, across which changes in the environment are detected. Utilizing specialized macromolecular components, cells can sense changes in temperature, hydrostatic pressure, oxygen tension, shear, shape, osmolarity, pH, electrical potential, electromagnetic radiation, and the concentrations of specific chemical compounds. Modes of response are equally varied, ranging from rapid secretion of stored substances to irreversible functional differentiation to self-destruction. Recent research has elucidated many of the enzymatic and genetic programs that accomplish these adaptations and suggests novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

  7. Climate Change in Myanmar: Impacts and Adaptation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-12-01

    stage, it can be argued that signing on to the Rio Summit, the Kyoto Protocol and other similar treaties was done for purely political benefit with...the Kyoto Protocol . Furthermore, regional agreements are in place to mitigate environmental issues and adapt to climate change. Among these are...the Kyoto Protocol in late 1997. As these developments advanced together, SLORC/SPDC policies showed greater consideration for the environment and

  8. Local adaptation and evolutionary potential along a temperature gradient in the fungal pathogen Rhynchosporium commune

    PubMed Central

    Stefansson, Tryggvi S; McDonald, Bruce A; Willi, Yvonne

    2013-01-01

    To predict the response of plant pathogens to climate warming, data are needed on current thermal adaptation, the pathogen's evolutionary potential, and the link between them. We conducted a common garden experiment using isolates of the fungal pathogen Rhynchosporium commune from nine barley populations representing climatically diverse locations. Clonal replicates of 126 genetically distinct isolates were assessed for their growth rate at 12°C, 18°C, and 22°C. Populations originating from climates with higher monthly temperature variation had higher growth rate at all three temperatures compared with populations from climates with less temperature fluctuation. Population differentiation in growth rate (QST) was significantly higher at 22°C than population differentiation for neutral microsatellite loci (GST), consistent with local adaptation for growth at higher temperatures. At 18°C, we found evidence for stabilizing selection for growth rate as QST was significantly lower than GST. Heritability of growth rate under the three temperatures was substantial in all populations (0.58–0.76). Genetic variation was lower in populations with higher growth rate at the three temperatures and evolvability increased under heat stress in seven of nine populations. Our findings imply that the distribution of this pathogen is unlikely to be genetically limited under climate warming, due to its high genetic variation and plasticity for thermal tolerance. PMID:23745143

  9. The Role of Evolutionary Intermediates in the Host Adaptation of Canine Parvovirus

    PubMed Central

    Stucker, Karla M.; Pagan, Israel; Cifuente, Javier O.; Kaelber, Jason T.; Lillie, Tyler D.; Hafenstein, Susan; Holmes, Edward C.

    2012-01-01

    The adaptation of viruses to new hosts is a poorly understood process likely involving a variety of viral structures and functions that allow efficient replication and spread. Canine parvovirus (CPV) emerged in the late 1970s as a host-range variant of a virus related to feline panleukopenia virus (FPV). Within a few years of its emergence in dogs, there was a worldwide replacement of the initial virus strain (CPV type 2) by a variant (CPV type 2a) characterized by four amino acid differences in the capsid protein. However, the evolutionary processes that underlie the acquisition of these four mutations, as well as their effects on viral fitness, both singly and in combination, are still uncertain. Using a comprehensive experimental analysis of multiple intermediate mutational combinations, we show that these four capsid mutations act in concert to alter antigenicity, cell receptor binding, and relative in vitro growth in feline cells. Hence, host adaptation involved complex interactions among both surface-exposed and buried capsid mutations that together altered cell infection and immune escape properties of the viruses. Notably, most intermediate viral genotypes containing different combinations of the four key amino acids possessed markedly lower fitness than the wild-type viruses. PMID:22114336

  10. Evolutionary design of interfacial phase change van der Waals heterostructures.

    PubMed

    Kalikka, Janne; Zhou, Xilin; Behera, Jitendra; Nannicini, Giacomo; Simpson, Robert E

    2016-10-27

    We use an evolutionary algorithm to explore the design space of hexagonal Ge2Sb2Te5; a van der Waals layered two dimensional crystal heterostructure. The Ge2Sb2Te5 structure is more complicated than previously thought. Predominant features include layers of Ge3Sb2Te6 and Ge1Sb2Te4 two dimensional crystals that interact through Te-Te van der Waals bonds. Interestingly, (Ge/Sb)-Te-(Ge/Sb)-Te alternation is a common feature for the most stable structures of each generation's evolution. This emergent rule provides an important structural motif that must be included in the design of high performance Sb2Te3-GeTe van der Waals heterostructure superlattices with interfacial atomic switching capability. The structures predicted by the algorithm agree well with experimental measurements on highly oriented, and single crystal Ge2Sb2Te5 samples. By analysing the evolutionary algorithm optimised structures, we show that diffusive atomic switching is probable by Ge atoms undergoing a transition at the van der Waals interface from layers of Ge3Sb2Te6 to Ge1Sb2Te4 thus producing two blocks of Ge2Sb2Te5. Evolutionary methods present an efficient approach to explore the enormous multi-dimensional design parameter space of van der Waals bonded heterostructure superlattices.

  11. Evolutionare Padagogik--Umrisse eines Paradigmenwechsels (Evolutionary Pedagogics--Outlines of a Change in Paradigm).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Treml, Alfred K.

    2002-01-01

    Sketches the teleological perspective dominating pedagogy and points out its weaknesses. Explains and applies the natural point of view, common in evolutionary theory, to pedagogy. Outlines and tests basic conceptual differentiations. Describes the often misunderstood concepts of chance, selection and adaptation. (CAJ)

  12. Climate Change Adaptation: Putting Principles into Practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ausden, Malcolm

    2014-10-01

    Carrying out wildlife conservation in a changing climate requires planning on long timescales at both a site and network level, while also having the flexibility to adapt actions at sites over short timescales in response to changing conditions and new information. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a land-owning wildlife conservation charity in the UK, achieves this on its nature reserves through its system of management planning. This involves setting network-wide objectives which inform the 25-year vision and 5-year conservation objectives for each site. Progress toward achieving each site's conservation objectives is reviewed annually, to identify any adjustments which might be needed to the site's management. The conservation objectives and 25-year vision of each site are reviewed every 5 years. Significant long-term impacts of climate change most frequently identified at RSPB reserves are: loss of intertidal habitat through coastal squeeze, loss of low-lying islands due to higher sea levels and coastal erosion, loss of coastal freshwater and brackish wetlands due to increased coastal flooding, and changes in the hydrology of wetlands. The main types of adaptation measures in place on RSPB reserves to address climate change-related impacts are: re-creation of intertidal habitat, re-creation and restoration of freshwater wetlands away from vulnerable coastal areas, blocking artificial drainage on peatlands, and addressing pressures on freshwater supply for lowland wet grasslands in eastern and southeastern England. Developing partnerships between organizations has been crucial in delivering large-scale adaptation projects.

  13. Fast running restricts evolutionary change of the vertebral column in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Galis, Frietson; Carrier, David R.; van Alphen, Joris; van der Mije, Steven D.; Van Dooren, Tom J. M.; Metz, Johan A. J.; ten Broek, Clara M. A.

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian vertebral column is highly variable, reflecting adaptations to a wide range of lifestyles, from burrowing in moles to flying in bats. However, in many taxa, the number of trunk vertebrae is surprisingly constant. We argue that this constancy results from strong selection against initial changes of these numbers in fast running and agile mammals, whereas such selection is weak in slower-running, sturdier mammals. The rationale is that changes of the number of trunk vertebrae require homeotic transformations from trunk into sacral vertebrae, or vice versa, and mutations toward such transformations generally produce transitional lumbosacral vertebrae that are incompletely fused to the sacrum. We hypothesize that such incomplete homeotic transformations impair flexibility of the lumbosacral joint and thereby threaten survival in species that depend on axial mobility for speed and agility. Such transformations will only marginally affect performance in slow, sturdy species, so that sufficient individuals with transitional vertebrae survive to allow eventual evolutionary changes of trunk vertebral numbers. We present data on fast and slow carnivores and artiodactyls and on slow afrotherians and monotremes that strongly support this hypothesis. The conclusion is that the selective constraints on the count of trunk vertebrae stem from a combination of developmental and biomechanical constraints. PMID:25024205

  14. Fast running restricts evolutionary change of the vertebral column in mammals.

    PubMed

    Galis, Frietson; Carrier, David R; van Alphen, Joris; van der Mije, Steven D; Van Dooren, Tom J M; Metz, Johan A J; ten Broek, Clara M A

    2014-08-05

    The mammalian vertebral column is highly variable, reflecting adaptations to a wide range of lifestyles, from burrowing in moles to flying in bats. However, in many taxa, the number of trunk vertebrae is surprisingly constant. We argue that this constancy results from strong selection against initial changes of these numbers in fast running and agile mammals, whereas such selection is weak in slower-running, sturdier mammals. The rationale is that changes of the number of trunk vertebrae require homeotic transformations from trunk into sacral vertebrae, or vice versa, and mutations toward such transformations generally produce transitional lumbosacral vertebrae that are incompletely fused to the sacrum. We hypothesize that such incomplete homeotic transformations impair flexibility of the lumbosacral joint and thereby threaten survival in species that depend on axial mobility for speed and agility. Such transformations will only marginally affect performance in slow, sturdy species, so that sufficient individuals with transitional vertebrae survive to allow eventual evolutionary changes of trunk vertebral numbers. We present data on fast and slow carnivores and artiodactyls and on slow afrotherians and monotremes that strongly support this hypothesis. The conclusion is that the selective constraints on the count of trunk vertebrae stem from a combination of developmental and biomechanical constraints.

  15. Adaptive robot path planning in changing environments

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, P.C.

    1994-08-01

    Path planning needs to be fast to facilitate real-time robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To overcome this difficulty, we present an adaptive algorithm that uses past experience to speed up future performance. It is a learning algorithm suitable for incrementally-changing environments such as those encountered in manufacturing of evolving products and waste-site remediation. The algorithm allows the robot to adapt to its environment by having two experience manipulation schemes: For minor environmental change, we use an object-attached experience abstraction scheme to increase the flexibility of the learned experience; for major environmental change, we use an on-demand experience repair scheme to retain those experiences that remain valid and useful. Using this algorithm, we can effectively reduce the overall robot planning time by re-using the computation result for one task to plan a path for another.

  16. A Model for Climate Change Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasqualini, D.; Keating, G. N.

    2009-12-01

    Climate models predict serious impacts on the western U.S. in the next few decades, including increased temperatures and reduced precipitation. In combination, these changes are linked to profound impacts on fundamental systems, such as water and energy supplies, agriculture, population stability, and the economy. Global and national imperatives for climate change mitigation and adaptation are made actionable at the state level, for instance through greenhouse gas (GHG) emission regulations and incentives for renewable energy sources. However, adaptation occurs at the local level, where energy and water usage can be understood relative to local patterns of agriculture, industry, and culture. In response to the greenhouse gas emission reductions required by California’s Assembly Bill 32 (2006), Sonoma County has committed to sharp emissions reductions across several sectors, including water, energy, and transportation. To assist Sonoma County develop a renewable energy (RE) portfolio to achieve this goal we have developed an integrated assessment model, CLEAR (CLimate-Energy Assessment for Resiliency) model. Building on Sonoma County’s existing baseline studies of energy use, carbon emissions and potential RE sources, the CLEAR model simulates the complex interactions among technology deployment, economics and social behavior. This model enables assessment of these and other components with specific analysis of their coupling and feedbacks because, due to the complex nature of the problem, the interrelated sectors cannot be studied independently. The goal is an approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation that is replicable for use by other interested communities. The model user interfaces helps stakeholders and policymakers understand options for technology implementation.

  17. Phylogenetic diversity and co-evolutionary signals among trophic levels change across a habitat edge.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Guadalupe; Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Varsani, Arvind; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2015-03-01

    Incorporating the evolutionary history of species into community ecology enhances understanding of community composition, ecosystem functioning and responses to environmental changes. Phylogenetic history might partly explain the impact of fragmentation and land-use change on assemblages of interacting organisms and even determine potential cascading effects across trophic levels. However, it remains unclear whether phylogenetic diversity of basal resources is reflected at higher trophic levels in the food web. In particular, phylogenetic determinants of community structure have never been incorporated into habitat edge studies, even though edges are recognized as key factors affecting communities in fragmented landscapes. Here, we test whether phylogenetic diversity at different trophic levels (plants, herbivores and parasitoids) and signals of co-evolution (i.e. phylogenetic congruence) among interacting trophic levels change across an edge gradient between native and plantation forests. To ascertain whether there is a signal of co-evolution across trophic levels, we test whether related consumer species generally feed on related resource species. We found differences across trophic levels in how their phylogenetic diversity responded to the habitat edge gradient. Plant and native parasitoid phylogenetic diversity changed markedly across habitats, while phylogenetic variability of herbivores (which were predominantly native) did not change across habitats, though phylogenetic evenness declined in plantation interiors. Related herbivore species did not appear to feed disproportionately on related plant species (i.e. there was no signal of co-evolution) even when considering only native species, potentially due to the high trophic generality of herbivores. However, related native parasitoid species tended to feed on related herbivore species, suggesting the presence of a co-evolutionary signal at higher trophic levels. Moreover, this signal was stronger in

  18. Craniofacial development in marsupial mammals: developmental origins of evolutionary change.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kathleen K

    2006-05-01

    Biologists have long studied the evolutionary consequences of the differences in reproductive and life history strategies of marsupial and eutherian mammals. Over the past few decades, the impact of these strategies on the development of the marsupial embryo and neonate has received attention. In this review, the differences in development in the craniofacial region in marsupial and eutherian mammals will be discussed. The review will highlight differences at the organogenic and cellular levels, and discuss hypotheses for shifts in the expression of important regulatory genes. The major difference in the organogenic period is a whole-scale shift in the relative timing of central nervous system structures, in particular those of the forebrain, which are delayed in marsupials, relative to the structures of the oral-facial apparatus. Correlated with the delay in development of nervous system structures, the ossification of the bones of the neurocranium are delayed, while those of the face are accelerated. This study will also review work showing that the neural crest, which provides much of the cellular material to the facial skeleton and may also carry important patterning information, is notably accelerated in its development in marsupials. Potential consequences of these observations for hypotheses on constraint, evolutionary integration, and the existence of developmental modules is discussed. Finally, the implications of these results for hypotheses on the genetic modulation of craniofacial patterning are presented.

  19. The evolutionary origins of beneficial alleles during the repeated adaptation of garter snakes to deadly prey

    PubMed Central

    Feldman, Chris R.; Brodie, Edmund D.; Brodie, Edmund D.; Pfrender, Michael E.

    2009-01-01

    Where do the genetic variants underlying adaptive change come from? Are currently adaptive alleles recruited by selection from standing genetic variation within populations, moved through introgression from other populations, or do they arise as novel mutations? Here, we examine the molecular basis of repeated adaptation to the toxin of deadly prey in 3 species of garter snakes (Thamnophis) to determine whether adaptation has evolved through novel mutations, sieving of existing variation, or transmission of beneficial alleles across species. Functional amino acid substitutions in the skeletal muscle sodium channel (Nav1.4) are largely responsible for the physiological resistance of garter snakes to tetrodotoxin found in their newt (Taricha) prey. Phylogenetic analyses reject the hypotheses that the unique resistance alleles observed in multiple Thamnophis species were present before the split of these lineages, or that alleles were shared among species through occasional hybridization events. Our results demonstrate that adaptive evolution has occurred independently multiple times in garter snakes via the de novo acquisition of beneficial mutations. PMID:19666534

  20. Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on (Marine) Animals: Physiological Underpinnings and Evolutionary Consequences.

    PubMed

    Pörtner, Hans O; Gutt, Julian

    2016-07-01

    Understanding thermal ranges and limits of organisms becomes important in light of climate change and observed effects on ecosystems as reported by the IPCC (2014). Evolutionary adaptation to temperature is presently unable to keep animals and other organisms in place; if they can these rather follow the moving isotherms. These effects of climate change on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems have brought into focus the mechanisms by which temperature and its oscillations shape the biogeography and survival of species. For animals, the integrative concept of oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) has successfully characterized the sublethal limits to performance and the consequences of such limits for ecosystems. Recent models illustrate how routine energy demand defines the realized niche. Steady state temperature-dependent performance profiles thus trace the thermal window and indicate a key role for aerobic metabolism, and the resulting budget of available energy (power), in defining performance under routine conditions, from growth to exercise and reproduction. Differences in the performance and productivity of marine species across latitudes relate to changes in mitochondrial density, capacity, and other features of cellular design. Comparative studies indicate how and why such mechanisms underpinning OCLTT may have developed on evolutionary timescales in different climatic zones and contributed to shaping the functional characteristics and species richness of the respective fauna. A cause-and-effect understanding emerges from considering the relationships between fluctuations in body temperature, cellular design, and performance. Such principles may also have been involved in shaping the functional characteristics of survivors in mass extinction events during earth's history; furthermore, they may provide access to understanding the evolution of endothermy in mammals and birds. Accordingly, an understanding is emerging how climate changes and

  1. Evolutionary blueprint for host- and niche-adaptation in Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex CC30

    PubMed Central

    McGavin, Martin J.; Arsic, Benjamin; Nickerson, Nicholas N.

    2012-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex CC30 has caused infectious epidemics for more than 60 years, and, therefore, provides a model system to evaluate how evolution has influenced the disease potential of closely related strains. In previous multiple genome comparisons, phylogenetic analyses established three major branches that evolved from a common ancestor. Clade 1, comprised of historic pandemic phage type 80/81 methicillin susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), and Clade 2 comprised of contemporary community acquired methicillin resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) were hyper-virulent in murine infection models. Conversely, Clade 3 strains comprised of contemporary hospital associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) and clinical MSSA exhibited attenuated virulence, due to common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP's) that abrogate production of α-hemolysin Hla, and interfere with signaling of the accessory gene regulator agr. We have now completed additional in silico genome comparisons of 15 additional CC30 genomes in the public domain, to assess the hypothesis that Clade 3 has evolved to favor niche adaptation. In addition to SNP's that influence agr and hla, other common traits of Clade 3 include tryptophan auxotrophy due to a di-nucleotide deletion within trpD, a premature stop codon within isdH encoding an immunogenic cell surface protein involved in iron acquisition, loss of a genomic toxin–antitoxin (TA) addiction module, acquisition of S. aureus pathogenicity islands SaPI4, and SaPI2 encoding toxic shock syndrome toxin tst, and increased copy number of insertion sequence ISSau2, which appears to target transcription terminators. Compared to other Clade 3 MSSA, S. aureus MN8, which is associated with Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome, exhibited a unique ISSau2 insertion, and enhanced production of toxic shock syndrome toxin encoded by SaPI2. Cumulatively, our data support the notion that Clade 3 strains are following an evolutionary blueprint toward niche-adaptation. PMID:22919639

  2. Evolutionary Dynamics on Protein Bi-stability Landscapes can Potentially Resolve Adaptive Conflicts

    PubMed Central

    Sikosek, Tobias; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Chan, Hue Sun

    2012-01-01

    Experimental studies have shown that some proteins exist in two alternative native-state conformations. It has been proposed that such bi-stable proteins can potentially function as evolutionary bridges at the interface between two neutral networks of protein sequences that fold uniquely into the two different native conformations. Under adaptive conflict scenarios, bi-stable proteins may be of particular advantage if they simultaneously provide two beneficial biological functions. However, computational models that simulate protein structure evolution do not yet recognize the importance of bi-stability. Here we use a biophysical model to analyze sequence space to identify bi-stable or multi-stable proteins with two or more equally stable native-state structures. The inclusion of such proteins enhances phenotype connectivity between neutral networks in sequence space. Consideration of the sequence space neighborhood of bridge proteins revealed that bi-stability decreases gradually with each mutation that takes the sequence further away from an exactly bi-stable protein. With relaxed selection pressures, we found that bi-stable proteins in our model are highly successful under simulated adaptive conflict. Inspired by these model predictions, we developed a method to identify real proteins in the PDB with bridge-like properties, and have verified a clear bi-stability gradient for a series of mutants studied by Alexander et al. (Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 2009, 106:21149–21154) that connect two sequences that fold uniquely into two different native structures via a bridge-like intermediate mutant sequence. Based on these findings, new testable predictions for future studies on protein bi-stability and evolution are discussed. PMID:23028272

  3. Probabilistic adaptation in changing microbial environments

    PubMed Central

    Springer, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Microbes growing in animal host environments face fluctuations that have elements of both randomness and predictability. In the mammalian gut, fluctuations in nutrient levels and other physiological parameters are structured by the host’s behavior, diet, health and microbiota composition. Microbial cells that can anticipate environmental fluctuations by exploiting this structure would likely gain a fitness advantage (by adapting their internal state in advance). We propose that the problem of adaptive growth in structured changing environments, such as the gut, can be viewed as probabilistic inference. We analyze environments that are “meta-changing”: where there are changes in the way the environment fluctuates, governed by a mechanism unobservable to cells. We develop a dynamic Bayesian model of these environments and show that a real-time inference algorithm (particle filtering) for this model can be used as a microbial growth strategy implementable in molecular circuits. The growth strategy suggested by our model outperforms heuristic strategies, and points to a class of algorithms that could support real-time probabilistic inference in natural or synthetic cellular circuits. PMID:27994963

  4. Cannabimimetic phytochemicals in the diet - an evolutionary link to food selection and metabolic stress adaptation?

    PubMed

    Gertsch, Jürg

    2016-11-27

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a major lipid signalling network that plays important pro-homeostatic (allostatic) roles not only in the nervous system but also in peripheral organs. There is increasing evidence that there is a dietary component in the modulation of the ECS. Cannabinoid receptors in hominids co-evolved with diet, and the ECS constitutes a feedback loop for food selection and energy metabolism. Here, it is postulated that the mismatch of ancient lipid genes of hunter-gatherers and pastoralists with the high-carbohydrate diet introduced by agriculture could be compensated for via dietary modulation of the ECS. In addition to the fatty acid precursors of endocannabinoids, the potential role of dietary cannabimimetic phytochemicals in agriculturist nutrition is discussed. Dietary secondary metabolites from vegetables and spices able to enhance the activity of cannabinoid-type 2 (CB2 ) receptors may provide adaptive metabolic advantages and counteract inflammation. In contrast, chronic CB1 receptor activation in hedonic obese individuals may enhance pathophysiological processes related to hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, hepatorenal inflammation and cardiometabolic risk. Food able to modulate the CB1 /CB2 receptor activation ratio may thus play a role in the nutrition transition of Western high-calorie diets. In this review, the interplay between diet and the ECS is highlighted from an evolutionary perspective. The emerging potential of cannabimimetic food as a nutraceutical strategy is critically discussed.

  5. Toad heart utilizes exclusively slow skeletal muscle troponin T: an evolutionary adaptation with potential functional benefits.

    PubMed

    Feng, Han-Zhong; Chen, Xuequn; Hossain, M Moazzem; Jin, Jian-Ping

    2012-08-24

    The three isoforms of vertebrate troponin T (TnT) are normally expressed in a muscle type-specific manner. Here we report an exception that the cardiac muscle of toad (Bufo) expresses exclusively slow skeletal muscle TnT (ssTnT) together with cardiac forms of troponin I and myosin as determined using immunoblotting, cDNA cloning, and/or LC-MS/MS. Using RT-PCR and 3'- and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends on toad cardiac mRNA, we cloned full-length cDNAs encoding two alternatively spliced variants of ssTnT. Expression of the cloned cDNAs in Escherichia coli confirmed that the toad cardiac muscle expresses solely ssTnT, predominantly the low molecular weight variant with the exon 5-encoded NH(2)-terminal segment spliced out. Functional studies were performed in ex vivo working toad hearts and compared with the frog (Rana) hearts. The results showed that toad hearts had higher contractile and relaxation velocities and were able to work against a significantly higher afterload than that of frog hearts. Therefore, the unique evolutionary adaptation of utilizing exclusively ssTnT in toad cardiac muscle corresponded to a fitness value from improving systolic function of the heart. The data demonstrated a physiological importance of the functional diversity of TnT isoforms. The structure-function relationship of TnT may be explored for the development of new treatment of heart failure.

  6. How biochemical constraints of cellular growth shape evolutionary adaptations in metabolism.

    PubMed

    Berkhout, Jan; Bosdriesz, Evert; Nikerel, Emrah; Molenaar, Douwe; de Ridder, Dick; Teusink, Bas; Bruggeman, Frank J

    2013-06-01

    Evolutionary adaptations in metabolic networks are fundamental to evolution of microbial growth. Studies on unneeded-protein synthesis indicate reductions in fitness upon nonfunctional protein synthesis, showing that cell growth is limited by constraints acting on cellular protein content. Here, we present a theory for optimal metabolic enzyme activity when cells are selected for maximal growth rate given such growth-limiting biochemical constraints. We show how optimal enzyme levels can be understood to result from an enzyme benefit minus cost optimization. The constraints we consider originate from different biochemical aspects of microbial growth, such as competition for limiting amounts of ribosomes or RNA polymerases, or limitations in available energy. Enzyme benefit is related to its kinetics and its importance for fitness, while enzyme cost expresses to what extent resource consumption reduces fitness through constraint-induced reductions of other enzyme levels. A metabolic fitness landscape is introduced to define the fitness potential of an enzyme. This concept is related to the selection coefficient of the enzyme and can be expressed in terms of its fitness benefit and cost.

  7. Adaptive path planning in changing environments

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Pang C.

    1993-10-01

    Path planning needs to be fast to facilitate real-time robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To overcome this difficulty, we present an adaptive algorithm that uses previous experience to speed up future performance. It is a learning algorithm suitable for incrementally-changing environments such as those encountered in manufacturing of evolving products and waste-site remediation. The algorithm extends our previous work for stationary environments in two directions: For minor environmental change, an object-attached experience abstraction scheme is introduced to increase the flexibility of the learned experience; for major environmental change, an on-demand experience repair scheme is also introduced to retain those experiences that remain valid and useful. In addition to presenting this algorithm, we identify three other variants with different repair strategies. To compare these algorithms, we develop an analytic model to compare the costs and benefits of the corresponding repair processes. Using this model, we formalize the concept of incremental change, and prove the optimality of our proposed algorithm under such change. Empirically, we also characterize the performance curve of each variant, confirm our theoretical optimality results, and demonstrate the practicality of our algorithm.

  8. Evolutionary change driven by metal exposure as revealed by coding SNP genome scan in wild yellow perch (Perca flavescens).

    PubMed

    Bélanger-Deschênes, Sébastien; Couture, Patrice; Campbell, Peter G C; Bernatchez, Louis

    2013-07-01

    Pollution can drive rapid evolutionary change in wild populations. This study targets functional polymorphisms of chronically metal-contaminated wild yellow perch (Perca flavescens). A de novo transcriptome scan contrasted subsets of individuals from clean (n = 16) and contaminated (n = 16) lakes to identify 87 candidate annotated coding SNPs. Candidate genotypes and liver [metal] were obtained in 10 populations (n = 1,052) and a genome scan distinguished outliers: one nuclear (cyclin G1 gene) and two mitochondrial (cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 genes) also displaying allelic correlation to mean population [cadmium]. Whole mtDNA and 17 kb surrounding cyclin G1 were characterised through 454 sequencing thus revealing two non-synonymous substitutions involving dissimilar amino acids. Based on associated functions and inter-population differentiation, contaminated perch may have been selected for fast life cycle completion (p53 pathway) and memorization impairment mitigation (long-term potentiation pathway). In accordance with predicted evolutionary trajectory for stressed and energy deprived organisms, adapted perch would not compensate for repair mechanism inhibition, instead reallocating energy towards growth and favouring inexpensive impairment mitigation adaptations over costly detoxification. Overall, 85 years of selection could have driven rapid, potentially adaptive evolution by selecting alleles increasing perch fitness in polluted environments.

  9. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquatic habitats and freshwater taxa (fishes and aquatic invertebrates) in arid Australia. We also identify methods of recognizing likely future refugia and approaches to assessing the vulnerability of arid-adapted freshwater biota to a warming and drying climate. Evolutionary refugia in arid areas are characterized as permanent, groundwater-dependent habitats (subterranean aquifers and springs) supporting vicariant relicts and short-range endemics. Ecological refuges can vary across space and time, depending on the dispersal abilities of aquatic taxa and the geographical proximity and hydrological connectivity of aquatic habitats. The most important are the perennial waterbodies (both groundwater and surface water fed) that support obligate aquatic organisms. These species will persist where suitable habitats are available and dispersal pathways are maintained. For very mobile species (invertebrates with an aerial dispersal phase) evolutionary refugia may also act as ecological refuges. Evolutionary refugia are likely future refugia because their water source (groundwater) is decoupled from local precipitation. However, their biota is extremely vulnerable to changes in local conditions because population extinction risks cannot be abated by the dispersal of individuals from other sites. Conservation planning must incorporate a high level of protection for aquifers that support refugial sites. Ecological refuges are vulnerable to changes in regional climate because they have little

  10. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change.

    PubMed

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-07-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refugees based on our review of the attributes of aquatic habitats and freshwater taxa (fishes and aquatic invertebrates) in arid Australia. We also identify methods of recognizing likely future refugia and approaches to assessing the vulnerability of arid-adapted freshwater biota to a warming and drying climate. Evolutionary refugia in arid areas are characterized as permanent, groundwater-dependent habitats (subterranean aquifers and springs) supporting vicariant relicts and short-range endemics. Ecological refugees can vary across space and time, depending on the dispersal abilities of aquatic taxa and the geographical proximity and hydrological connectivity of aquatic habitats. The most important are the perennial waterbodies (both groundwater and surface water fed) that support obligate aquatic organisms. These species will persist where suitable habitats are available and dispersal pathways are maintained. For very mobile species (invertebrates with an aerial dispersal phase) evolutionary refugia may also act as ecological refugees. Evolutionary refugia are likely future refugia because their water source (groundwater) is decoupled from local precipitation. However, their biota is extremely vulnerable to changes in local conditions because population extinction risks cannot be abated by the dispersal of individuals from other sites. Conservation planning must incorporate a high level of protection for aquifers that support refugial sites. Ecological refuges are vulnerable to changes in regional climate because they have

  11. Boldness behavior and stress physiology in a novel urban environment suggest rapid correlated evolutionary adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Gonçalo C.; Whittaker, Danielle J.; Campbell-Nelson, Samuel; Robertson, Kyle W.; Ketterson, Ellen D.

    2012-01-01

    Novel or changing environments expose animals to diverse stressors that likely require coordinated hormonal and behavioral adaptations. Predicted adaptations to urban environments include attenuated physiological responses to stressors and bolder exploratory behaviors, but few studies to date have evaluated the impact of urban life on codivergence of these hormonal and behavioral traits in natural systems. Here, we demonstrate rapid adaptive shifts in both stress physiology and correlated boldness behaviors in a songbird, the dark-eyed junco, following its colonization of a novel urban environment. We compared elevation in corticosterone (CORT) in response to handling and flight initiation distances in birds from a recently established urban population in San Diego, California to birds from a nearby wildland population in the species' ancestral montane breeding range. We also measured CORT and exploratory behavior in birds raised from early life in a captive common garden study. We found persistent population differences for both reduced CORT responses and bolder exploratory behavior in birds from the colonist population, as well as significant negative covariation between maximum CORT and exploratory behavior. Although early developmental effects cannot be ruled out, these results suggest contemporary adaptive evolution of correlated hormonal and behavioral traits associated with colonization of an urban habitat. PMID:22936840

  12. Evolutionary changes in symbiont community structure in ticks.

    PubMed

    Duron, Olivier; Binetruy, Florian; Noël, Valérie; Cremaschi, Julie; McCoy, Karen D; Arnathau, Céline; Plantard, Olivier; Goolsby, John; Pérez de León, Adalberto A; Heylen, Dieter J A; Van Oosten, A Raoul; Gottlieb, Yuval; Baneth, Gad; Guglielmone, Alberto A; Estrada-Peña, Agustin; Opara, Maxwell N; Zenner, Lionel; Vavre, Fabrice; Chevillon, Christine

    2017-03-09

    Ecological specialization to restricted diet niches is driven by obligate, and often maternally inherited, symbionts in many arthropod lineages. These heritable symbionts typically form evolutionarily stable associations with arthropods that can last for millions of years. Ticks were recently found to harbour such an obligate symbiont, Coxiella-LE, that synthesizes B vitamins and cofactors not obtained in sufficient quantities from blood diet. In this study, the examination of 81 tick species shows that some Coxiella-LE symbioses are evolutionarily stable with an ancient acquisition followed by codiversification as observed in ticks belonging to the Rhipicephalus genus. However, many other Coxiella-LE symbioses are characterized by low evolutionary stability with frequent host shifts and extinction events. Further examination revealed the presence of nine other genera of maternally inherited bacteria in ticks. Although these nine symbionts were primarily thought to be facultative, their distribution among tick species rather suggests that at least four may have independently replaced Coxiella-LE and likely represent alternative obligate symbionts. Phylogenetic evidence otherwise indicates that cocladogenesis is globally rare in these symbioses as most originate via horizontal transfer of an existing symbiont between unrelated tick species. As a result, the structure of these symbiont communities is not fixed and stable across the tick phylogeny. Most importantly, the symbiont communities commonly reach high levels of diversity with up to six unrelated maternally inherited bacteria coexisting within host species. We further conjecture that interactions among coexisting symbionts are pivotal drivers of community structure both among and within tick species.

  13. Biomechanical assessment of evolutionary changes in the lepidosaurian skull.

    PubMed

    Moazen, Mehran; Curtis, Neil; O'Higgins, Paul; Evans, Susan E; Fagan, Michael J

    2009-05-19

    The lepidosaurian skull has long been of interest to functional morphologists and evolutionary biologists. Patterns of bone loss and gain, particularly in relation to bars and fenestrae, have led to a variety of hypotheses concerning skull use and kinesis. Of these, one of the most enduring relates to the absence of the lower temporal bar in squamates and the acquisition of streptostyly. We performed a series of computer modeling studies on the skull of Uromastyx hardwickii, an akinetic herbivorous lizard. Multibody dynamic analysis (MDA) was conducted to predict the forces acting on the skull, and the results were transferred to a finite element analysis (FEA) to estimate the pattern of stress distribution. In the FEA, we applied the MDA result to a series of models based on the Uromastyx skull to represent different skull configurations within past and present members of the Lepidosauria. In this comparative study, we found that streptostyly can reduce the joint forces acting on the skull, but loss of the bony attachment between the quadrate and pterygoid decreases skull robusticity. Development of a lower temporal bar apparently provided additional support for an immobile quadrate that could become highly stressed during forceful biting.

  14. Multiple evolutionary origins of Australian soil-burrowing cockroaches driven by climate change in the Neogene

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Nathan; Tong, K. Jun; Rose, Harley A.; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Beninati, Tiziana; Low, David L. T.; Matsumoto, Tadao; Maekawa, Kiyoto

    2016-01-01

    Parallel evolution is the independent appearance of similar derived phenotypes from similar ancestral forms. It is of key importance in the debate over whether evolution is stochastic and unpredictable, or subject to constraints that limit available phenotypic options. Nevertheless, its occurrence has rarely been demonstrated above the species level. Climate change on the Australian landmass over the last approximately 20 Myr has provided conditions conducive to parallel evolution, as taxa at the edges of shrinking mesic habitats adapted to drier biomes. Here, we investigate the phylogeny and evolution of Australian soil-burrowing and wood-feeding blaberid cockroaches. Soil burrowers (subfamily Geoscapheinae) are found in relatively dry sclerophyllous and scrubland habits, whereas wood feeders (subfamily Panesthiinae) are found in rainforest and wet sclerophyll. We sequenced and analysed mitochondrial and nuclear markers from 142 specimens, and estimated the evolutionary time scale of the two subfamilies. We found evidence for the parallel evolution of soil-burrowing taxa from wood-feeding ancestors on up to nine occasions. These transitions appear to have been driven by periods of aridification during the Miocene and Pliocene across eastern Australia. Our results provide an illuminating example of climate-driven parallel evolution among species. PMID:26888035

  15. Multiple evolutionary origins of Australian soil-burrowing cockroaches driven by climate change in the Neogene.

    PubMed

    Lo, Nathan; Tong, K Jun; Rose, Harley A; Ho, Simon Y W; Beninati, Tiziana; Low, David L T; Matsumoto, Tadao; Maekawa, Kiyoto

    2016-02-24

    Parallel evolution is the independent appearance of similar derived phenotypes from similar ancestral forms. It is of key importance in the debate over whether evolution is stochastic and unpredictable, or subject to constraints that limit available phenotypic options. Nevertheless, its occurrence has rarely been demonstrated above the species level. Climate change on the Australian landmass over the last approximately 20 Myr has provided conditions conducive to parallel evolution, as taxa at the edges of shrinking mesic habitats adapted to drier biomes. Here, we investigate the phylogeny and evolution of Australian soil-burrowing and wood-feeding blaberid cockroaches. Soil burrowers (subfamily Geoscapheinae) are found in relatively dry sclerophyllous and scrubland habits, whereas wood feeders (subfamily Panesthiinae) are found in rainforest and wet sclerophyll. We sequenced and analysed mitochondrial and nuclear markers from 142 specimens, and estimated the evolutionary time scale of the two subfamilies. We found evidence for the parallel evolution of soil-burrowing taxa from wood-feeding ancestors on up to nine occasions. These transitions appear to have been driven by periods of aridification during the Miocene and Pliocene across eastern Australia. Our results provide an illuminating example of climate-driven parallel evolution among species.

  16. Chikungunya Virus 3′ Untranslated Region: Adaptation to Mosquitoes and a Population Bottleneck as Major Evolutionary Forces

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rubing; Wang, Eryu; Tsetsarkin, Konstantin A.; Weaver, Scott C.

    2013-01-01

    The 3′ untranslated genome region (UTR) of arthropod-borne viruses is characterized by enriched direct repeats (DRs) and stem-loop structures. Despite many years of theoretical and experimental study, on-going positive selection on the 3′UTR had never been observed in ‘real-time,’ and the role of the arbovirus 3′UTR remains poorly understood. We observed a lineage-specific 3′UTR sequence pattern in all available Asian lineage of the mosquito-borne alphavirus, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) (1958–2009), including complicated mutation and duplication patterns of the long DRs. Given that a longer genome is usually associated with less efficient replication, we hypothesized that the fixation of these genetic changes in the Asian lineage 3′UTR was due to their beneficial effects on adaptation to vectors or hosts. Using reverse genetic methods, we examined the functional importance of each direct repeat. Our results suggest that adaptation to mosquitoes, rather than to mammalian hosts, is a major evolutionary force on the CHIKV 3′UTR. Surprisingly, the Asian 3′UTR appeared to be inferior to its predicted ancestral sequence for replication in both mammals and mosquitoes, suggesting that its fixation in Asia was not a result of directional selection. Rather, it may have resulted from a population bottleneck during its introduction from Africa to Asia. We propose that this introduction of a 3′UTR with deletions led to genetic drift and compensatory mutations associated with the loss of structural/functional constraints, followed by two independent beneficial duplications and fixation due to positive selection. Our results provide further evidence that the limited epidemic potential of the Asian CHIKV strains resulted from founder effects that reduced its fitness for efficient transmission by mosquitoes there. PMID:24009512

  17. Adapting to climate change or to stakeholders?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruggeman, Adriana; Camera, Corrado; Giannakis, Elias; Zoumides, Christos; Eliades, Marinos; Djuma, Hakan

    2015-04-01

    The Tamassos dam protects the Pedieos watershed in Cyprus against floods. The waterbody behind the dam serves as a new biodiversity and recreational resource. Water from the dam is also used for domestic water supply for nearby rural communities. However, this peaceful picture is threatened by climate change. Regional Climate Models indicate a drier and warmer Pedieos watershed in the near future (2020-2050). Interviews and meetings with a wide variety of stakeholders, for the development of a climate change adaptation plan for the Pedieos watershed, has created even more uncertainties than climate change. Environmental-minded stakeholders suggested to demolish the dam and to return the watershed to its natural state and the water to downstream ecosystems. Agricultural producers would also like to see the return of stream flows, such that they can divert or impound the water for groundwater recharge and subsequent irrigation. Community leaders similarly prefer stream flows for the recharge of the alluvial river aquifers, to allow them to abstract more groundwater for community water supply. Downstream authorities have different concerns. Here the usually dry river bed serves as the drainage of the urban agglomeration of the capital of Nicosia; and has been identified as an area of potentially significant flood risk for the European Flood Directive (2007/60/EC). The largest storm event in the upstream area in the recent past occurred in January 1989, before the construction of the dam. The runoff totalled 3.1 million m3 in one day and 4.4 million m3 in two days. Thus, part of the runoff would have flown straight through the spillway of the 2.8 million m3 dam reservoir. Average annual precipitation in the highly sloping, forested upstream area is 500 mm, while stream flows average 4.7 million m3/yr (1981-2001). This results in an average runoff coefficient of 19% for the 45-km2 upstream area. Past observations, climate change projections and hydrologic models

  18. Evaluation of iron deficiency as a nutritional adaptation to infectious disease: an evolutionary medicine perspective.

    PubMed

    Wander, Katherine; Shell-Duncan, Bettina; McDade, Thomas W

    2009-01-01

    An evolutionary perspective suggests that iron deficiency may have opposing effects on infectious disease risk, decreasing susceptibility by restricting iron availability to pathogens, and increasing susceptibility by compromising cellular immunocompetence. In some environments, the trade-off between these effects may result in optimal iron intake that is inadequate to fully meet body iron needs. Thus, it has been suggested that moderate iron deficiency may protect against acute infection, and may represent a nutritional adaptation to endemic infectious disease stress. To test this assertion, we examined the association between infection, reflected by C-reactive protein, a biomarker of inflammation, and iron status, reflected by transferrin receptor (TfR) and zinc protoporphyrin to heme ratio (ZPP:H), among school-age Kenyan children, and evaluated the hypothesis that moderate iron deficiency is associated with lower odds of infectious disease. TfR > 5.0 mg/l, with sensitivity and specificity for iron deficiency (ZPP:H > 80 micromol/mol) of 0.807 and 0.815, was selected as the TfR definition of iron deficiency. Controlling for age and triceps skinfold thickness (TSF), the odds ratio (OR) for acute viral or bacterial infection associated with iron deficiency (compared to normal/replete) was 0.50 (P = 0.11). Controlling for age and TSF, the OR for infection associated with an unequivocally iron replete state (compared to all others) was 2.9 (P = 0.01). We conclude that iron deficiency may protect against acute infection in children.

  19. Evolutionary responses by native species to major anthropogenic changes to their ecosystems: Pacific salmon in the Columbia River hydropower system.

    PubMed

    Waples, Robin S; Zabel, Richard W; Scheuerell, Mark D; Sanderson, Beth L

    2008-01-01

    The human footprint is now large in all the Earth's ecosystems, and construction of large dams in major river basins is among the anthropogenic changes that have had the most profound ecological consequences, particularly for migratory fishes. In the Columbia River basin of the western USA, considerable effort has been directed toward evaluating demographic effects of dams, yet little attention has been paid to evolutionary responses of migratory salmon to altered selective regimes. Here we make a first attempt to address this information gap. Transformation of the free-flowing Columbia River into a series of slack-water reservoirs has relaxed selection for adults capable of migrating long distances upstream against strong flows; conditions now favour fish capable of migrating through lakes and finding and navigating fish ladders. Juveniles must now be capable of surviving passage through multiple dams or collection and transportation around the dams. River flow patterns deliver some groups of juvenile salmon to the estuary later than is optimal for ocean survival, but countervailing selective pressures might constrain an evolutionary response toward earlier migration timing. Dams have increased the cost of migration, which reduces energy available for sexual selection and favours a nonmigratory life history. Reservoirs are a benign environment for many non-native species that are competitors with or predators on salmon, and evolutionary responses are likely (but undocumented). More research is needed to tease apart the relative importance of evolutionary vs. plastic responses of salmon to these environmental changes; this research is logistically challenging for species with life histories like Pacific salmon, but results should substantially improve our understanding of key processes. If the Columbia River is ever returned to a quasinatural, free-flowing state, remaining populations might face a Darwinian debt (and temporarily reduced fitness) as they struggle to

  20. Evolutionary Influences of Plastic Behavioral Responses Upon Environmental Challenges in an Adaptive Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Susan A.; Wund, Matthew A.; Baker, John A.

    2015-01-01

    At the end of the 19th century, the suggestion was made by several scientists, including J. M. Baldwin, that behavioral responses to environmental change could both rescue populations from extinction (Baldwin Effect) and influence the course of subsequent evolution. Here we provide the historical and theoretical background for this argument and offer evidence of the importance of these ideas for understanding how animals (and other organisms that exhibit behavior) will respond to the rapid environmental changes caused by human activity. We offer examples from long-term research on the evolution of behavioral and other phenotypes in the adaptive radiation of the threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus), a radiation in which it is possible to infer ancestral patterns of behavioral plasticity relative to the post-glacial freshwater radiation in northwestern North America, and to use patterns of parallelism and contemporary evolution to understand adaptive causes of responses to environmental modification. Our work offers insights into the complexity of cognitive responses to environmental change, and into the importance of examining multiple aspects of the phenotype simultaneously, if we are to understand how behavioral shifts contribute to the persistence of populations and to subsequent evolution. We conclude by discussing the origins of apparent novelties induced by environmental shifts, and the importance of accounting for geographic variation within species if we are to accurately anticipate the effects of anthropogenic environmental modification on the persistence and evolution of animals. PMID:26163679

  1. Evolutionary Influences of Plastic Behavioral Responses Upon Environmental Challenges in an Adaptive Radiation.

    PubMed

    Foster, Susan A; Wund, Matthew A; Baker, John A

    2015-09-01

    At the end of the 19th century, the suggestion was made by several scientists, including J. M. Baldwin, that behavioral responses to environmental change could both rescue populations from extinction (Baldwin Effect) and influence the course of subsequent evolution. Here we provide the historical and theoretical background for this argument and offer evidence of the importance of these ideas for understanding how animals (and other organisms that exhibit behavior) will respond to the rapid environmental changes caused by human activity. We offer examples from long-term research on the evolution of behavioral and other phenotypes in the adaptive radiation of the threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus), a radiation in which it is possible to infer ancestral patterns of behavioral plasticity relative to the post-glacial freshwater radiation in northwestern North America, and to use patterns of parallelism and contemporary evolution to understand adaptive causes of responses to environmental modification. Our work offers insights into the complexity of cognitive responses to environmental change, and into the importance of examining multiple aspects of the phenotype simultaneously, if we are to understand how behavioral shifts contribute to the persistence of populations and to subsequent evolution. We conclude by discussing the origins of apparent novelties induced by environmental shifts, and the importance of accounting for geographic variation within species if we are to accurately anticipate the effects of anthropogenic environmental modification on the persistence and evolution of animals.

  2. Community-Based Adaptation To A Changing Climate

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This resource discusses how climate change is affecting community services, presents sample adaptation strategies, gives examples of successful community adaptation actions, and provides links to other key federal resources.

  3. [Review on farmer's climate change perception and adaptation].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xue-Yan

    2014-08-01

    As the most serious challenge that the humankind is facing, climate change has been strengthened vulnerability in many countries and regions, and how to scientifically adapt to climate change has become the global issue of common concern to the international community today. The impact of climate change on farming people depending on the nature resource is especially remarkable, and understanding farmers' adaptation mechanism and process is very important to effectively make the adaptation policy. As the basis of understanding the human response action, public perception has provided a new perspective to verify the farmers' adaptation mechanism and process about climate change. Based on the recent theoretical and empirical developments of farmers' perception and adaptation, the impact of climate change on the farmers' livelihood was analyzed, and the main adaptation obstacles which the farmers faced in response to climate change were summarized systematically. Then, we analyzed the relationship between the farmers' climate change perception and adaptation, illuminated the key cognitive elements in the process of the farmers' climate change adaptation and introduced the framework to analyze the relationship between the farmers' climate change perception and adaptation. At last, this review put forward the key questions which should be considered in study on the relationship between the farmers' climate change perception and adaptation.

  4. Local adaptation and the evolution of species' ranges under climate change.

    PubMed

    Atkins, K E; Travis, J M J

    2010-10-07

    The potential impact of climate change on biodiversity is well documented. A well developed range of statistical methods currently exists that projects the possible future habitat of a species directly from the current climate and a species distribution. However, studies incorporating ecological and evolutionary processes remain limited. Here, we focus on the potential role that local adaptation to climate may play in driving the range dynamics of sessile organisms. Incorporating environmental adaptation into a stochastic simulation yields several new insights. Counter-intuitively, our simulation results suggest that species with broader ranges are not necessarily more robust to climate change. Instead, species with broader ranges can be more susceptible to extinction as locally adapted genotypes are often blocked from range shifting by the presence of cooler adapted genotypes that persist even when their optimum climate has left them behind. Interestingly, our results also suggest that it will not always be the cold-adapted phenotypes that drive polewards range expansion. Instead, range shifts may be driven by phenotypes conferring adaptation to conditions prevalent towards the centre of a species' equilibrium distribution. This may have important consequences for the conservation method termed predictive provenancing. These initial results highlight the potential importance of local adaptation in determining how species will respond to climate change and we argue that this is an area requiring urgent theoretical and empirical attention.

  5. Climate change refugia as a tool for climate adaptation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Climate change refugia, areas relatively buffered from contemporary climate change so as to increase persistence of valued physical, ecological, and cultural resources, are considered as potential adaptation options in the face of anthropogenic climate change. In a collaboration ...

  6. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data.

  7. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data. PMID:24454550

  8. Evolutionary and experimental change in egg volume, heterochrony of larval body and juvenile rudiment, and evolutionary reversibility in pluteus form.

    PubMed

    Bertram, Douglas F; Phillips, Nicole E; Strathmann, Richard R

    2009-01-01

    Heterochronic developmental plasticity of the juvenile rudiment and larval body of sea urchin larvae occurs in response to supply of food. Evolutionary increase in egg size can also be associated with earlier development of the juvenile rudiment. We examined effects of egg volume of feeding larvae on this heterochrony and other changes in larval form. (1) Evolutionary and experimental enlargements of egg volume did not accelerate formation of the rudiment relative to the larval body. Development of the larval body and juvenile rudiment was compared for the echinoids Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (with an egg of 78-82 microm) and Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (with an egg of 150-160 microm diameter). Development of both larval body and rudiment were accelerated in S. droebachiensis relative to S. purpuratus but with greater acceleration of the larval body, so that the rudiment of S. droebachiensis was initiated at a later larval stage even though at an earlier age. Also, experimentally doubling the egg volume of S. purpuratus did not accelerate development of the juvenile rudiment relative to the larval body. (2) Both species exhibited similar plasticity in timing of rudiment development in response to food supplies. (3) Doubling egg volume of S. purpuratus produced a larval form more similar to that of S. droebachiensis. This result mirrors previous experiments in which larvae from half embryos of S. droebachiensis were more similar to larvae of S. purpuratus. Many of the effects of egg volume on larval form are similar against either species' genetic background and are thus evolutionarily reversible effects on larval form.

  9. Adapting wheat in Europe for climate change.

    PubMed

    Semenov, M A; Stratonovitch, P; Alghabari, F; Gooding, M J

    2014-05-01

    Increasing cereal yield is needed to meet the projected increased demand for world food supply of about 70% by 2050. Sirius, a process-based model for wheat, was used to estimate yield potential for wheat ideotypes optimized for future climatic projections for ten wheat growing areas of Europe. It was predicted that the detrimental effect of drought stress on yield would be decreased due to enhanced tailoring of phenology to future weather patterns, and due to genetic improvements in the response of photosynthesis and green leaf duration to water shortage. Yield advances could be made through extending maturation and thereby improve resource capture and partitioning. However the model predicted an increase in frequency of heat stress at meiosis and anthesis. Controlled environment experiments quantify the effects of heat and drought at booting and flowering on grain numbers and potential grain size. A current adaptation of wheat to areas of Europe with hotter and drier summers is a quicker maturation which helps to escape from excessive stress, but results in lower yields. To increase yield potential and to respond to climate change, increased tolerance to heat and drought stress should remain priorities for the genetic improvement of wheat.

  10. Adapting wheat in Europe for climate change

    PubMed Central

    Semenov, M.A.; Stratonovitch, P.; Alghabari, F.; Gooding, M.J.

    2014-01-01

    Increasing cereal yield is needed to meet the projected increased demand for world food supply of about 70% by 2050. Sirius, a process-based model for wheat, was used to estimate yield potential for wheat ideotypes optimized for future climatic projections for ten wheat growing areas of Europe. It was predicted that the detrimental effect of drought stress on yield would be decreased due to enhanced tailoring of phenology to future weather patterns, and due to genetic improvements in the response of photosynthesis and green leaf duration to water shortage. Yield advances could be made through extending maturation and thereby improve resource capture and partitioning. However the model predicted an increase in frequency of heat stress at meiosis and anthesis. Controlled environment experiments quantify the effects of heat and drought at booting and flowering on grain numbers and potential grain size. A current adaptation of wheat to areas of Europe with hotter and drier summers is a quicker maturation which helps to escape from excessive stress, but results in lower yields. To increase yield potential and to respond to climate change, increased tolerance to heat and drought stress should remain priorities for the genetic improvement of wheat. PMID:24882934

  11. Beyond Reduction: Climate Change Adaptation Planning for Universities and Colleges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owen, Rochelle; Fisher, Erica; McKenzie, Kyle

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to outline a unique six-step process for the inclusion of climate change adaption goals and strategies in a University Climate Change Plan. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed-method approach was used to gather data on campus climate change vulnerabilities and adaption strategies. A literature review…

  12. Macro-evolutionary studies of cultural diversity: a review of empirical studies of cultural transmission and cultural adaptation.

    PubMed

    Mace, Ruth; Jordan, Fiona M

    2011-02-12

    A growing body of theoretical and empirical research has examined cultural transmission and adaptive cultural behaviour at the individual, within-group level. However, relatively few studies have tried to examine proximate transmission or test ultimate adaptive hypotheses about behavioural or cultural diversity at a between-societies macro-level. In both the history of anthropology and in present-day work, a common approach to examining adaptive behaviour at the macro-level has been through correlating various cultural traits with features of ecology. We discuss some difficulties with simple ecological associations, and then review cultural phylogenetic studies that have attempted to go beyond correlations to understand the underlying cultural evolutionary processes. We conclude with an example of a phylogenetically controlled approach to understanding proximate transmission pathways in Austronesian cultural diversity.

  13. Macro-evolutionary studies of cultural diversity: a review of empirical studies of cultural transmission and cultural adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Mace, Ruth; Jordan, Fiona M.

    2011-01-01

    A growing body of theoretical and empirical research has examined cultural transmission and adaptive cultural behaviour at the individual, within-group level. However, relatively few studies have tried to examine proximate transmission or test ultimate adaptive hypotheses about behavioural or cultural diversity at a between-societies macro-level. In both the history of anthropology and in present-day work, a common approach to examining adaptive behaviour at the macro-level has been through correlating various cultural traits with features of ecology. We discuss some difficulties with simple ecological associations, and then review cultural phylogenetic studies that have attempted to go beyond correlations to understand the underlying cultural evolutionary processes. We conclude with an example of a phylogenetically controlled approach to understanding proximate transmission pathways in Austronesian cultural diversity. PMID:21199844

  14. Proposed evolutionary changes in the role of myelin.

    PubMed

    Stiefel, Klaus M; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; Coggan, Jay S

    2013-01-01

    Myelin is the multi-layered lipid sheet periodically wrapped around neuronal axons. It is most frequently found in vertebrates. Myelin allows for saltatory action potential (AP) conduction along axons. During this form of conduction, the AP travels passively along the myelin-covered part of the axon, and is recharged at the intermittent nodes of Ranvier. Thus, myelin can reduce the energy load needed and/or increase the speed of AP conduction. Myelin first evolved during the Ordovician period. We hypothesize that myelin's first role was mainly energy conservation. During the later "Mesozoic marine revolution," marine ecosystems changed toward an increase in marine predation pressure. We hypothesize that the main purpose of myelin changed from energy conservation to conduction speed increase during this Mesozoic marine revolution. To test this hypothesis, we optimized models of myelinated axons for a combination of AP conduction velocity and energy efficiency. We demonstrate that there is a trade-off between these objectives. We then compared the simulation results to empirical data and conclude that while the data are consistent with the theory, additional measurements are necessary for a complete evaluation of the proposed hypothesis.

  15. Characterizing Uncertainty for Regional Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Unwin, Stephen D.; Moss, Richard H.; Rice, Jennie S.; Scott, Michael J.

    2011-09-30

    This white paper describes the results of new research to develop an uncertainty characterization process to help address the challenges of regional climate change mitigation and adaptation decisions.

  16. The genetic basis of evolutionary change in gene expression levels

    PubMed Central

    Emerson, J. J.; Li, Wen-Hsiung

    2010-01-01

    The regulation of gene expression is an important determinant of organismal phenotype and evolution. However, the widespread recognition of this fact occurred long after the synthesis of evolution and genetics. Here, we give a brief sketch of thoughts regarding gene regulation in the history of evolution and genetics. We then review the development of genome-wide studies of gene regulatory variation in the context of the location and mode of action of the causative genetic changes. In particular, we review mapping of the genetic basis of expression variation through expression quantitative trait locus studies and measuring the cis/trans component of expression variation in allele-specific expression studies. We conclude by proposing a systematic integration of ideas that combines global mapping studies, cis/trans tests and modern population genetics methodologies, in order to directly estimate the forces acting on regulatory variation within and between species. PMID:20643748

  17. Clinal adaptation and adaptive plasticity in Artemisia californica: implications for the response of a foundation species to predicted climate change.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Jessica D; Mooney, Kailen A

    2013-08-01

    critical need to integrate fundamental evolutionary processes into global change models, as contemporary patterns of adaptation to environmental clines will mediate future plant responses to projected climate change.

  18. Adaptation pathways of global wheat production: Importance of strategic adaptation to climate change.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Akemi; Takahashi, Kiyoshi; Masutomi, Yuji; Hanasaki, Naota; Hijioka, Yasuaki; Shiogama, Hideo; Yamanaka, Yasuhiro

    2015-09-16

    Agricultural adaptation is necessary to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on crop yields and to maintain food production. However, few studies have assessed the course of adaptation along with the progress of climate change in each of the current major food producing countries. Adaptation pathways, which describe the temporal sequences of adaptations, are helpful for illustrating the timing and intensity of the adaptation required. Here we present adaptation pathways in the current major wheat-producing countries, based on sequential introduction of the minimum adaptation measures necessary to maintain current wheat yields through the 21st century. We considered two adaptation options: (i) expanding irrigation infrastructure; and (ii) switching crop varieties and developing new heat-tolerant varieties. We find that the adaptation pathways differ markedly among the countries. The adaptation pathways are sensitive to both the climate model uncertainty and natural variability of the climate system, and the degree of sensitivity differs among countries. Finally, the negative impacts of climate change could be moderated by implementing adaptations steadily according to forecasts of the necessary future adaptations, as compared to missing the appropriate timing to implement adaptations.

  19. The Evolutionary Paradox of Tooth Wear: Simply Destruction or Inevitable Adaptation?

    PubMed Central

    Benazzi, Stefano; Nguyen, Huynh Nhu; Schulz, Dieter; Grosse, Ian R.; Gruppioni, Giorgio; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Kullmer, Ottmar

    2013-01-01

    Over the last century, humans from industrialized societies have witnessed a radical increase in some dental diseases. A severe problem concerns the loss of dental materials (enamel and dentine) at the buccal cervical region of the tooth. This “modern-day” pathology, called non-carious cervical lesions (NCCLs), is ubiquitous and worldwide spread, but is very sporadic in modern humans from pre-industrialized societies. Scholars believe that several factors are involved, but the real dynamics behind this pathology are far from being understood. Here we use an engineering approach, finite element analysis (FEA), to suggest that the lack of dental wear, characteristic of industrialized societies, might be a major factor leading to NCCLs. Occlusal loads were applied to high resolution finite element models of lower second premolars (P2) to demonstrate that slightly worn P2s envisage high tensile stresses in the buccal cervical region, but when worn down artificially in the laboratory the pattern of stress distribution changes and the tensile stresses decrease, matching the results obtained in naturally worn P2s. In the modern industrialized world, individuals at advanced ages show very moderate dental wear when compared to past societies, and teeth are exposed to high tensile stresses at the buccal cervical region for decades longer. This is the most likely mechanism explaining enamel loss in the cervical region, and may favor the activity of other disruptive processes such as biocorrosion. Because of the lack of dental abrasion, our masticatory apparatus faces new challenges that can only be understood in an evolutionary perspective. PMID:23638020

  20. Ancestry of the mammalian preplate and its derivatives: evolutionary relicts or embryonic adaptations?

    PubMed

    Aboitiz, Francisco; Montiel, Juan; García, Ricardo R

    2005-01-01

    Mammalian cortical development is preceded by the elaboration of a transient preplate, which is split into a superficial marginal zone and a deep subplate after the arrival of the cortical plate. There has been some controversy in the evolutionary interpretation of this transient structure, as some propose it to represent the ancestral cortex or pallium of non-mammals, while others consider it to be a phylogenetic novelty. The preplate and its derivatives contain components derived by both tangential and radial migration. Tangentially migrating elements include pioneer neurons and interneurons, both of subpallial origin, and Cajal-Retzius cells, mostly of pallial origin. Pioneer neurons were probably present in the ancestors of mammals, but may have changed their original superficial position to one below the developing cortex, thus attracting thalamic afferents in the subcortical white matter, and making them penetrate the cortex radially. In mammals, Cajal-Retzius cells appear to have increased both in number and on their level of reelin expression, perhaps in the context of controlling the final stages of migration in a radially expanding neoocortex. Radial-migrating cells are partly represented by the pyramidal-like cells of the subplate. These neurons resemble the excitatory elements of the adult reptilian cortex, but is not clear whether they are their true homologues. One possibility is that these cells appeared by virtue of a heterochronic process in which the earliest radial elements of the cortical plate began to be produced at progressively earlier developmental stages. Thus, we conclude that the mammalian preplate and its derivatives contain both ancestral and derived elements, all of which have been modified in the course of mammalian evolution to support an increasingly complex cortical plate development.

  1. Population genomics reveal recent speciation and rapid evolutionary adaptation in polar bears.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shiping; Lorenzen, Eline D; Fumagalli, Matteo; Li, Bo; Harris, Kelley; Xiong, Zijun; Zhou, Long; Korneliussen, Thorfinn Sand; Somel, Mehmet; Babbitt, Courtney; Wray, Greg; Li, Jianwen; He, Weiming; Wang, Zhuo; Fu, Wenjing; Xiang, Xueyan; Morgan, Claire C; Doherty, Aoife; O'Connell, Mary J; McInerney, James O; Born, Erik W; Dalén, Love; Dietz, Rune; Orlando, Ludovic; Sonne, Christian; Zhang, Guojie; Nielsen, Rasmus; Willerslev, Eske; Wang, Jun

    2014-05-08

    Polar bears are uniquely adapted to life in the High Arctic and have undergone drastic physiological changes in response to Arctic climates and a hyper-lipid diet of primarily marine mammal prey. We analyzed 89 complete genomes of polar bear and brown bear using population genomic modeling and show that the species diverged only 479-343 thousand years BP. We find that genes on the polar bear lineage have been under stronger positive selection than in brown bears; nine of the top 16 genes under strong positive selection are associated with cardiomyopathy and vascular disease, implying important reorganization of the cardiovascular system. One of the genes showing the strongest evidence of selection, APOB, encodes the primary lipoprotein component of low-density lipoprotein (LDL); functional mutations in APOB may explain how polar bears are able to cope with life-long elevated LDL levels that are associated with high risk of heart disease in humans.

  2. POPULATION GENOMICS REVEAL RECENT SPECIATION AND RAPID EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION IN POLAR BEARS

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shiping; Lorenzen, Eline D.; Fumagalli, Matteo; Li, Bo; Harris, Kelley; Xiong, Zijun; Zhou, Long; Korneliussen, Thorfinn Sand; Somel, Mehmet; Babbitt, Courtney; Wray, Greg; Li, Jianwen; He, Weiming; Wang, Zhuo; Fu, Wenjing; Xiang, Xueyan; Morgan, Claire C.; Doherty, Aoife; O’Connell, Mary J.; McInerney, James O.; Born, Erik W.; Dalén, Love; Dietz, Rune; Orlando, Ludovic; Sonne, Christian; Zhang, Guojie; Nielsen, Rasmus; Willerslev, Eske; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Polar bears are uniquely adapted to life in the High Arctic and have undergone drastic physiological changes in response to Arctic climates and a hyperlipid diet of primarily marine mammal prey. We analyzed 89 complete genomes of polar bear and brown bear using population genomic modeling and show that the species diverged only 479–343 thousand years BP. We find that genes on the polar bear lineage have been under stronger positive selection than in brown bears; nine of the top 16 genes under strong positive selection are associated with cardiomyopathy and vascular disease, implying important reorganization of the cardio-vascular system. One of the genes showing the strongest evidence of selection, APOB, encodes the primary lipoprotein component of low-density lipoprotein (LDL); functional mutations in APOB may explain how polar bears are able to cope with life-long elevated LDL levels that are associated with high risk of heart disease in humans. PMID:24813606

  3. Adaptability of protein structures to enable functional interactions and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Haliloglu, Turkan; Bahar, Ivet

    2015-12-01

    Several studies in recent years have drawn attention to the ability of proteins to adapt to intermolecular interactions by conformational changes along structure-encoded collective modes of motions. These so-called soft modes, primarily driven by entropic effects, facilitate, if not enable, functional interactions. They represent excursions on the conformational space along principal low-ascent directions/paths away from the original free energy minimum, and they are accessible to the protein even before protein-protein/ligand interactions. An emerging concept from these studies is the evolution of structures or modular domains to favor such modes of motion that will be recruited or integrated for enabling functional interactions. Structural dynamics, including the allosteric switches in conformation that are often stabilized upon formation of complexes and multimeric assemblies, emerge as key properties that are evolutionarily maintained to accomplish biological activities, consistent with the paradigm sequence→structure→dynamics→function where 'dynamics' bridges structure and function.

  4. Local orientation and the evolution of foraging: changes in decision making can eliminate evolutionary trade-offs.

    PubMed

    van der Post, Daniel J; Semmann, Dirk

    2011-10-01

    Information processing is a major aspect of the evolution of animal behavior. In foraging, responsiveness to local feeding opportunities can generate patterns of behavior which reflect or "recognize patterns" in the environment beyond the perception of individuals. Theory on the evolution of behavior generally neglects such opportunity-based adaptation. Using a spatial individual-based model we study the role of opportunity-based adaptation in the evolution of foraging, and how it depends on local decision making. We compare two model variants which differ in the individual decision making that can evolve (restricted and extended model), and study the evolution of simple foraging behavior in environments where food is distributed either uniformly or in patches. We find that opportunity-based adaptation and the pattern recognition it generates, plays an important role in foraging success, particularly in patchy environments where one of the main challenges is "staying in patches". In the restricted model this is achieved by genetic adaptation of move and search behavior, in light of a trade-off on within- and between-patch behavior. In the extended model this trade-off does not arise because decision making capabilities allow for differentiated behavioral patterns. As a consequence, it becomes possible for properties of movement to be specialized for detection of patches with more food, a larger scale information processing not present in the restricted model. Our results show that changes in decision making abilities can alter what kinds of pattern recognition are possible, eliminate an evolutionary trade-off and change the adaptive landscape.

  5. Global Climate Change Adaptation Priorities for Biodiversity and Food Security

    PubMed Central

    Hannah, Lee; Ikegami, Makihiko; Hole, David G.; Seo, Changwan; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Peterson, A. Townsend; Roehrdanz, Patrick R.

    2013-01-01

    International policy is placing increasing emphasis on adaptation to climate change, including the allocation of new funds to assist adaptation efforts. Climate change adaptation funding may be most effective where it meets integrated goals, but global geographic priorities based on multiple development and ecological criteria are not well characterized. Here we show that human and natural adaptation needs related to maintaining agricultural productivity and ecosystem integrity intersect in ten major areas globally, providing a coherent set of international priorities for adaptation funding. An additional seven regional areas are identified as worthy of additional study. The priority areas are locations where changes in crop suitability affecting impoverished farmers intersect with changes in ranges of restricted-range species. Agreement among multiple climate models and emissions scenarios suggests that these priorities are robust. Adaptation funding directed to these areas could simultaneously address multiple international policy goals, including poverty reduction, protecting agricultural production and safeguarding ecosystem services. PMID:23991125

  6. Global climate change adaptation priorities for biodiversity and food security.

    PubMed

    Hannah, Lee; Ikegami, Makihiko; Hole, David G; Seo, Changwan; Butchart, Stuart H M; Peterson, A Townsend; Roehrdanz, Patrick R

    2013-01-01

    International policy is placing increasing emphasis on adaptation to climate change, including the allocation of new funds to assist adaptation efforts. Climate change adaptation funding may be most effective where it meets integrated goals, but global geographic priorities based on multiple development and ecological criteria are not well characterized. Here we show that human and natural adaptation needs related to maintaining agricultural productivity and ecosystem integrity intersect in ten major areas globally, providing a coherent set of international priorities for adaptation funding. An additional seven regional areas are identified as worthy of additional study. The priority areas are locations where changes in crop suitability affecting impoverished farmers intersect with changes in ranges of restricted-range species. Agreement among multiple climate models and emissions scenarios suggests that these priorities are robust. Adaptation funding directed to these areas could simultaneously address multiple international policy goals, including poverty reduction, protecting agricultural production and safeguarding ecosystem services.

  7. Modeling the two-locus architecture of divergent pollinator adaptation: how variation in SAD paralogs affects fitness and evolutionary divergence in sexually deceptive orchids

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Shuqing; Schlüter, Philipp M

    2015-01-01

    Divergent selection by pollinators can bring about strong reproductive isolation via changes at few genes of large effect. This has recently been demonstrated in sexually deceptive orchids, where studies (1) quantified the strength of reproductive isolation in the field; (2) identified genes that appear to be causal for reproductive isolation; and (3) demonstrated selection by analysis of natural variation in gene sequence and expression. In a group of closely related Ophrys orchids, specific floral scent components, namely n-alkenes, are the key floral traits that control specific pollinator attraction by chemical mimicry of insect sex pheromones. The genetic basis of species-specific differences in alkene production mainly lies in two biosynthetic genes encoding stearoyl–acyl carrier protein desaturases (SAD) that are associated with floral scent variation and reproductive isolation between closely related species, and evolve under pollinator-mediated selection. However, the implications of this genetic architecture of key floral traits on the evolutionary processes of pollinator adaptation and speciation in this plant group remain unclear. Here, we expand on these recent findings to model scenarios of adaptive evolutionary change at SAD2 and SAD5, their effects on plant fitness (i.e., offspring number), and the dynamics of speciation. Our model suggests that the two-locus architecture of reproductive isolation allows for rapid sympatric speciation by pollinator shift; however, the likelihood of such pollinator-mediated speciation is asymmetric between the two orchid species O. sphegodes and O. exaltata due to different fitness effects of their predominant SAD2 and SAD5 alleles. Our study not only provides insight into pollinator adaptation and speciation mechanisms of sexually deceptive orchids but also demonstrates the power of applying a modeling approach to the study of pollinator-driven ecological speciation. PMID:25691974

  8. Modeling the two-locus architecture of divergent pollinator adaptation: how variation in SAD paralogs affects fitness and evolutionary divergence in sexually deceptive orchids.

    PubMed

    Xu, Shuqing; Schlüter, Philipp M

    2015-01-01

    Divergent selection by pollinators can bring about strong reproductive isolation via changes at few genes of large effect. This has recently been demonstrated in sexually deceptive orchids, where studies (1) quantified the strength of reproductive isolation in the field; (2) identified genes that appear to be causal for reproductive isolation; and (3) demonstrated selection by analysis of natural variation in gene sequence and expression. In a group of closely related Ophrys orchids, specific floral scent components, namely n-alkenes, are the key floral traits that control specific pollinator attraction by chemical mimicry of insect sex pheromones. The genetic basis of species-specific differences in alkene production mainly lies in two biosynthetic genes encoding stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturases (SAD) that are associated with floral scent variation and reproductive isolation between closely related species, and evolve under pollinator-mediated selection. However, the implications of this genetic architecture of key floral traits on the evolutionary processes of pollinator adaptation and speciation in this plant group remain unclear. Here, we expand on these recent findings to model scenarios of adaptive evolutionary change at SAD2 and SAD5, their effects on plant fitness (i.e., offspring number), and the dynamics of speciation. Our model suggests that the two-locus architecture of reproductive isolation allows for rapid sympatric speciation by pollinator shift; however, the likelihood of such pollinator-mediated speciation is asymmetric between the two orchid species O. sphegodes and O. exaltata due to different fitness effects of their predominant SAD2 and SAD5 alleles. Our study not only provides insight into pollinator adaptation and speciation mechanisms of sexually deceptive orchids but also demonstrates the power of applying a modeling approach to the study of pollinator-driven ecological speciation.

  9. The integration of Darwinism and evolutionary morphology: Alexej Nikolajevich Sewertzoff (1866-1936) and the developmental basis of evolutionary change.

    PubMed

    Levit, George S; Hossfeld, Uwe; Olsson, Lennart

    2004-07-15

    The growth of evolutionary morphology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was inspired by the work of Carl Gegenbaur (1826-1903) and his protégé and friend Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). However, neither of them succeeded in creating and applying a strictly Darwinian (selectionist) methodology. This task was left to the next generation of evolutionary morphologists. In this paper we present a relatively unknown researcher, Alexej Nikolajevich Sewertzoff (1866-1936) who made important contributions towards a synthesis of Darwinism and evolutionary morphology.

  10. Is adaptation to climate change really constrained in niche specialists?

    PubMed

    van Heerwaarden, Belinda; Sgrò, Carla M

    2014-09-07

    Species with restricted distributions make up the vast majority of biodiversity. Recent evidence suggests that Drosophila species with restricted tropical distributions lack genetic variation in the key trait of desiccation resistance. It has therefore been predicted that tropically restricted species will be limited in their evolutionary response to future climatic changes and will face higher risks of extinction. However, these assessments have been made using extreme levels of desiccation stress (less than 10% relative humidity (RH)) that extend well beyond the changes projected for the wet tropics under climate change scenarios over the next 30 years. Here, we show that significant evolutionary responses to less extreme (35% RH) but more ecologically realistic levels of climatic change and desiccation stress are in fact possible in two species of rainforest restricted Drosophila. Evolution may indeed be an important means by which sensitive rainforest-restricted species are able to mitigate the effects of climate change.

  11. Delivering organisational adaptation through legislative mechanisms: Evidence from the Adaptation Reporting Power (Climate Change Act 2008).

    PubMed

    Jude, S R; Drew, G H; Pollard, S J T; Rocks, S A; Jenkinson, K; Lamb, R

    2017-01-01

    There is increasing recognition that organisations, particularly in key infrastructure sectors, are potentially vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events, and require organisational responses to ensure they are resilient and adaptive. However, detailed evidence of how adaptation is facilitated, implemented and reported, particularly through legislative mechanisms is lacking. The United Kingdom Climate Change Act (2008), introduced the Adaptation Reporting Power, enabling the Government to direct so-called reporting authorities to report their climate change risks and adaptation plans. We describe the authors' unique role and experience supporting the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) during the Adaptation Reporting Power's first round. An evaluation framework, used to review the adaptation reports, is presented alongside evidence on how the process provides new insights into adaptation activities and triggered organisational change in 78% of reporting authorities, including the embedding of climate risk and adaptation issues. The role of legislative mechanisms and risk-based approaches in driving and delivering adaptation is discussed alongside future research needs, including the development of organisational maturity models to determine resilient and well adapting organisations. The Adaptation Reporting Power process provides a basis for similar initiatives in other countries, although a clear engagement strategy to ensure buy-in to the process and research on its long-term legacy, including the potential merits of voluntary approaches, is required.

  12. Adapting natural resource management to climate change: The South Central Oregon and Northern Rockies Adaptation Partnerships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halofsky, J.; Peterson, D. L.

    2015-12-01

    Concrete ways to adapt to climate change are needed to help natural resource managers take the first steps to incorporate climate change into management and take advantage of opportunities to balance the negative effects of climate change. We recently initiated two science-management climate change adaptation partnerships, one with three national forests and one national park in south central Oregon, and the other with 16 national forests, three national parks and other stakeholders in the northern Rockies region. Goals of both partnerships were to: (1) synthesize published information and data to assess the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of key resource areas, including water use, infrastructure, fisheries, and vegetation and disturbance; (2) develop science-based adaptation strategies and tactics that will help to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and assist the transition of biological systems and management to a warmer climate; (3) ensure adaptation strategies and tactics are incorporated into relevant planning documents; and (4) foster an enduring partnership to facilitate ongoing dialogue and activities related to climate change in the partnerships regions. After an initial vulnerability assessment by agency and university scientists and local resource specialists, adaptation strategies and tactics were developed in a series of scientist-manager workshops. The final vulnerability assessments and adaptation actions are incorporated in technical reports. The partnerships produced concrete adaptation options for national forest and other natural resource managers and illustrated the utility of place-based vulnerability assessments and scientist-manager workshops in adapting to climate change.

  13. Adapting Natural Resource Management to Climate Change: The Blue Mountains and Northern Rockies Adaptation Partnerships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halofsky, J.; Peterson, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Concrete ways to adapt to climate change are needed to help natural resource managers take the first steps to incorporate climate change into management and take advantage of opportunities to balance the negative effects of climate change. We recently initiated two science-management climate change adaptation partnerships, one with three national forests and other key stakeholders in the Blue Mountains region of northeastern Oregon, and the other with 16 national forests, three national parks and other stakeholders in the northern Rockies region. Goals of both partnerships were to: (1) synthesize published information and data to assess the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of key resource areas, including water use, infrastructure, fisheries, and vegetation and disturbance; (2) develop science-based adaptation strategies and tactics that will help to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and assist the transition of biological systems and management to a warmer climate; (3) ensure adaptation strategies and tactics are incorporated into relevant planning documents; and (4) foster an enduring partnership to facilitate ongoing dialogue and activities related to climate change in the partnerships regions. After an initial vulnerability assessment by agency and university scientists and local resource specialists, adaptation strategies and tactics were developed in a series of scientist-manager workshops. The final vulnerability assessments and adaptation actions are incorporated in technical reports. The partnerships produced concrete adaptation options for national forest and other natural resource managers and illustrated the utility of place-based vulnerability assessments and scientist-manager workshops in adapting to climate change.

  14. Molecular basis of evolutionary adaptation at the lactate dehydrogenase-B locus in the fish Fundulus heteroclitus.

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, D L; Powers, D A

    1989-01-01

    At the extremes of its natural distribution, populations of the common killifish Fundulus heteroclitus experience a difference of more than 15 degrees C in mean annual temperature. These populations are virtually fixed for two different codominant alleles at the heart-type lactate dehydrogenase locus (Ldh-B) which code for allozymes with different and adaptive kinetic responses to temperature. Two populations near the extremes of the species range (i.e., Maine and Georgia) were further studied for thermal adaptation at this locus. In the absence of any kinetic differences one would predict that to maintain a constant reaction velocity, 2 to 3 times as much enzyme would be required for each 10 degrees C decrease in environmental temperature. Consistent with this adaptive strategy and in addition to the adaptive kinetic characteristics, the LDH-B4 enzyme (EC 1.1.1.27) concentration and its mRNA concentration were approximately twice as great in the northern population as in the southern population. Acclimation experiments allow us to conclude that these differences are due to a combination of fixed genetic traits (evolutionary adaptation) and plastic responses to temperature (physiological acclimation). Furthermore, our calculations show that the LDH-B4 reaction velocities are essentially equivalent for these two populations, even though they live in significantly different thermal environments. PMID:2594773

  15. Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change in Canadian Jurisdictions

    PubMed Central

    Austin, Stephanie E.; Ford, James D.; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Araos, Malcolm; Parker, Stephen; Fleury, Manon D.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change poses numerous risks to the health of Canadians. Extreme weather events, poor air quality, and food insecurity in northern regions are likely to increase along with the increasing incidence and range of infectious diseases. In this study we identify and characterize Canadian federal, provincial, territorial and municipal adaptation to these health risks based on publically available information. Federal health adaptation initiatives emphasize capacity building and gathering information to address general health, infectious disease and heat-related risks. Provincial and territorial adaptation is varied. Quebec is a leader in climate change adaptation, having a notably higher number of adaptation initiatives reported, addressing almost all risks posed by climate change in the province, and having implemented various adaptation types. Meanwhile, all other Canadian provinces and territories are in the early stages of health adaptation. Based on publically available information, reported adaptation also varies greatly by municipality. The six sampled Canadian regional health authorities (or equivalent) are not reporting any adaptation initiatives. We also find little relationship between the number of initiatives reported in the six sampled municipalities and their provinces, suggesting that municipalities are adapting (or not adapting) autonomously. PMID:25588156

  16. Cultural Adaptations to Environmental Variability: An Evolutionary Account of East-West Differences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Lei; Mak, Miranda C. K.; Li, Tong; Wu, Bao Pei; Chen, Bin Bin; Lu, Hui Jing

    2011-01-01

    Much research has been conducted to document and sometimes to provide proximate explanations (e.g., Confucianism vs. Western philosophy) for East-West cultural differences. The ultimate evolutionary mechanisms underlying these cross-cultural differences have not been addressed. We propose in this review that East-West cultural differences (e.g.,…

  17. An Examination of the Impact of Harsh Parenting Contexts on Children's Adaptation within an Evolutionary Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sturge-Apple, Melissa L.; Davies, Patrick T.; Martin, Meredith J.; Cicchetti, Dante; Hentges, Rochelle F.

    2012-01-01

    The current study tests whether propositions set forth in an evolutionary model of temperament (Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005) may enhance our understanding of children's differential susceptibility to unsupportive and harsh caregiving practices. Guided by this model, we examined whether children's behavioral strategies for coping…

  18. Quantitative assessment of the importance of phenotypic plasticity in adaptation to climate change in wild bird populations.

    PubMed

    Vedder, Oscar; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Sheldon, Ben C

    2013-07-01

    Predictions about the fate of species or populations under climate change scenarios typically neglect adaptive evolution and phenotypic plasticity, the two major mechanisms by which organisms can adapt to changing local conditions. As a consequence, we have little understanding of the scope for organisms to track changing environments by in situ adaptation. Here, we use a detailed individual-specific long-term population study of great tits (Parus major) breeding in Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK to parameterise a mechanistic model and thus directly estimate the rate of environmental change to which in situ adaptation is possible. Using the effect of changes in early spring temperature on temporal synchrony between birds and a critical food resource, we focus in particular on the contribution of phenotypic plasticity to population persistence. Despite using conservative estimates for evolutionary and reproductive potential, our results suggest little risk of population extinction under projected local temperature change; however, this conclusion relies heavily on the extent to which phenotypic plasticity tracks the changing environment. Extrapolating the model to a broad range of life histories in birds suggests that the importance of phenotypic plasticity for adjustment to projected rates of temperature change increases with slower life histories, owing to lower evolutionary potential. Understanding the determinants and constraints on phenotypic plasticity in natural populations is thus crucial for characterising the risks that rapidly changing environments pose for the persistence of such populations.

  19. Quantitative Assessment of the Importance of Phenotypic Plasticity in Adaptation to Climate Change in Wild Bird Populations

    PubMed Central

    Vedder, Oscar; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Sheldon, Ben C.

    2013-01-01

    Predictions about the fate of species or populations under climate change scenarios typically neglect adaptive evolution and phenotypic plasticity, the two major mechanisms by which organisms can adapt to changing local conditions. As a consequence, we have little understanding of the scope for organisms to track changing environments by in situ adaptation. Here, we use a detailed individual-specific long-term population study of great tits (Parus major) breeding in Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK to parameterise a mechanistic model and thus directly estimate the rate of environmental change to which in situ adaptation is possible. Using the effect of changes in early spring temperature on temporal synchrony between birds and a critical food resource, we focus in particular on the contribution of phenotypic plasticity to population persistence. Despite using conservative estimates for evolutionary and reproductive potential, our results suggest little risk of population extinction under projected local temperature change; however, this conclusion relies heavily on the extent to which phenotypic plasticity tracks the changing environment. Extrapolating the model to a broad range of life histories in birds suggests that the importance of phenotypic plasticity for adjustment to projected rates of temperature change increases with slower life histories, owing to lower evolutionary potential. Understanding the determinants and constraints on phenotypic plasticity in natural populations is thus crucial for characterising the risks that rapidly changing environments pose for the persistence of such populations. PMID:23874152

  20. A roadmap for climate change adaptation in Sweden's forests: addressing wicked problems using adaptive management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rist, L.; Felton, A.; Samuelsson, L.; Marald, E.; Karlsson, B.; Johansson, U.; Rosvall, O.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change is expected to have significant direct and indirect effects on forest ecosystems. Forests will have to adapt not only to changes in mean climate variables but also to increased climatic variability and altered disturbance regimes. Rates of change will likely exceed many forests capabilities to naturally adapt and many of today's trees will be exposed to the climates of 2090. In Sweden the effects are already being seen and more severe impacts are expected in the future. Exacerbating the challenge posed by climate change, a large proportion of Sweden's forests are, as a consequence of dominant production goals, greatly simplified and thus potentially more vulnerable to the uncertainties and risks associated with climate change. This simplification also confers reduced adaptive capacity to respond to potential impacts. Furthermore, many adaptation measures themselves carry uncertainties and risks. Future changes and effects are thus uncertain, yet forest managers, policymakers, scientists and other stakeholders must act. Strategies that build social and ecological resilience in the face of multiple interacting unknowns and surprises are needed. Adaptive management aims to collect and integrate knowledge about how a managed system is likely to respond to alternative management schemes and changing environmental conditions within a continuous decision process. There have been suggestions that adaptive management is not well suited to the large complex uncertainties associated with climate change and associated adaptation measures. However, more recently it has been suggested that adaptive management can handle such wicked problems, given adequate resources and a suitable breakdown of the targeted uncertainties. Here we test this hypothesis by evaluating how an adaptive management process could be used to manage the uncertainties and risks associated with securing resilient, biodiverse and productive forests in Sweden in the face of climate change. We

  1. Detecting Functional Divergence after Gene Duplication through Evolutionary Changes in Posttranslational Regulatory Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen Ba, Alex N.; Strome, Bob; Hua, Jun Jie; Desmond, Jonathan; Gagnon-Arsenault, Isabelle; Weiss, Eric L.; Landry, Christian R.; Moses, Alan M.

    2014-01-01

    Gene duplication is an important evolutionary mechanism that can result in functional divergence in paralogs due to neo-functionalization or sub-functionalization. Consistent with functional divergence after gene duplication, recent studies have shown accelerated evolution in retained paralogs. However, little is known in general about the impact of this accelerated evolution on the molecular functions of retained paralogs. For example, do new functions typically involve changes in enzymatic activities, or changes in protein regulation? Here we study the evolution of posttranslational regulation by examining the evolution of important regulatory sequences (short linear motifs) in retained duplicates created by the whole-genome duplication in budding yeast. To do so, we identified short linear motifs whose evolutionary constraint has relaxed after gene duplication with a likelihood-ratio test that can account for heterogeneity in the evolutionary process by using a non-central chi-squared null distribution. We find that short linear motifs are more likely to show changes in evolutionary constraints in retained duplicates compared to single-copy genes. We examine changes in constraints on known regulatory sequences and show that for the Rck1/Rck2, Fkh1/Fkh2, Ace2/Swi5 paralogs, they are associated with previously characterized differences in posttranslational regulation. Finally, we experimentally confirm our prediction that for the Ace2/Swi5 paralogs, Cbk1 regulated localization was lost along the lineage leading to SWI5 after gene duplication. Our analysis suggests that changes in posttranslational regulation mediated by short regulatory motifs systematically contribute to functional divergence after gene duplication. PMID:25474245

  2. Detecting functional divergence after gene duplication through evolutionary changes in posttranslational regulatory sequences.

    PubMed

    Nguyen Ba, Alex N; Strome, Bob; Hua, Jun Jie; Desmond, Jonathan; Gagnon-Arsenault, Isabelle; Weiss, Eric L; Landry, Christian R; Moses, Alan M

    2014-12-01

    Gene duplication is an important evolutionary mechanism that can result in functional divergence in paralogs due to neo-functionalization or sub-functionalization. Consistent with functional divergence after gene duplication, recent studies have shown accelerated evolution in retained paralogs. However, little is known in general about the impact of this accelerated evolution on the molecular functions of retained paralogs. For example, do new functions typically involve changes in enzymatic activities, or changes in protein regulation? Here we study the evolution of posttranslational regulation by examining the evolution of important regulatory sequences (short linear motifs) in retained duplicates created by the whole-genome duplication in budding yeast. To do so, we identified short linear motifs whose evolutionary constraint has relaxed after gene duplication with a likelihood-ratio test that can account for heterogeneity in the evolutionary process by using a non-central chi-squared null distribution. We find that short linear motifs are more likely to show changes in evolutionary constraints in retained duplicates compared to single-copy genes. We examine changes in constraints on known regulatory sequences and show that for the Rck1/Rck2, Fkh1/Fkh2, Ace2/Swi5 paralogs, they are associated with previously characterized differences in posttranslational regulation. Finally, we experimentally confirm our prediction that for the Ace2/Swi5 paralogs, Cbk1 regulated localization was lost along the lineage leading to SWI5 after gene duplication. Our analysis suggests that changes in posttranslational regulation mediated by short regulatory motifs systematically contribute to functional divergence after gene duplication.

  3. Reconciling adaptation and mitigation to climate change in agricultureast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olesen, J. E.

    2006-12-01

    An effective adaptation to the changing climate at farm, sector and policy level is a prerequisite for reducing negative impacts and for obtaining possible benefits. These adaptations include land use and land management, as well as changes in inputs of water, nutrients and pesticides. Some of the most wide ranging adaptations involve changes in water management and water conservation, which involves issues such as changing irrigation, adoption of drought tolerant crops and water saving cropping methods (e.g. mulching and minimum tillage). Many of these adaptation options have substantial effects on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. However, so far few studies have attempted to link the issue of adaptation and mitigation in agriculture. This is primarily because the issues have so far been dealt with by different research communities and within different policy contexts. As both issues are becoming increasingly relevant from a policy perspective, these issues will have to be reconciled. Dealing with these issues requires a highly interdisciplinary approach.

  4. Adapting inland fisheries management to a changing climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paukert, Craig; Glazer, Bob A.; Hansen, Gretchen J. A.; Irwin, Brian J.; Jacobson, Peter C.; Kershner, Jeffrey L.; Shuter, Brian J.; Whitney, James E.; Lynch, Abigail J.

    2016-01-01

    Natural resource decision makers are challenged to adapt management to a changing climate while balancing short-term management goals with long-term changes in aquatic systems. Adaptation will require developing resilient ecosystems and resilient management systems. Decision makers already have tools to develop or ensure resilient aquatic systems and fisheries such as managing harvest and riparian zones. Because fisheries management often interacts with multiple stakeholders, adaptation strategies involving fisheries managers and other partners focused on land use, policy, and human systems, coupled with long-term monitoring, are necessary for resilient systems. We show how agencies and organizations are adapting to a changing climate in Minnesota and Ontario lakes and Montana streams. We also present how the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission created a management structure to develop adaptation strategies. These examples demonstrate how organizations and agencies can cope with climate change effects on fishes and fisheries through creating resilient management and ecological systems.

  5. Long-distance gene flow and adaptation of forest trees to rapid climate change

    PubMed Central

    Kremer, Antoine; Ronce, Ophélie; Robledo-Arnuncio, Juan J; Guillaume, Frédéric; Bohrer, Gil; Nathan, Ran; Bridle, Jon R; Gomulkiewicz, Richard; Klein, Etienne K; Ritland, Kermit; Kuparinen, Anna; Gerber, Sophie; Schueler, Silvio

    2012-01-01

    Forest trees are the dominant species in many parts of the world and predicting how they might respond to climate change is a vital global concern. Trees are capable of long-distance gene flow, which can promote adaptive evolution in novel environments by increasing genetic variation for fitness. It is unclear, however, if this can compensate for maladaptive effects of gene flow and for the long-generation times of trees. We critically review data on the extent of long-distance gene flow and summarise theory that allows us to predict evolutionary responses of trees to climate change. Estimates of long-distance gene flow based both on direct observations and on genetic methods provide evidence that genes can move over spatial scales larger than habitat shifts predicted under climate change within one generation. Both theoretical and empirical data suggest that the positive effects of gene flow on adaptation may dominate in many instances. The balance of positive to negative consequences of gene flow may, however, differ for leading edge, core and rear sections of forest distributions. We propose future experimental and theoretical research that would better integrate dispersal biology with evolutionary quantitative genetics and improve predictions of tree responses to climate change. PMID:22372546

  6. Long-distance gene flow and adaptation of forest trees to rapid climate change.

    PubMed

    Kremer, Antoine; Ronce, Ophélie; Robledo-Arnuncio, Juan J; Guillaume, Frédéric; Bohrer, Gil; Nathan, Ran; Bridle, Jon R; Gomulkiewicz, Richard; Klein, Etienne K; Ritland, Kermit; Kuparinen, Anna; Gerber, Sophie; Schueler, Silvio

    2012-04-01

    Forest trees are the dominant species in many parts of the world and predicting how they might respond to climate change is a vital global concern. Trees are capable of long-distance gene flow, which can promote adaptive evolution in novel environments by increasing genetic variation for fitness. It is unclear, however, if this can compensate for maladaptive effects of gene flow and for the long-generation times of trees. We critically review data on the extent of long-distance gene flow and summarise theory that allows us to predict evolutionary responses of trees to climate change. Estimates of long-distance gene flow based both on direct observations and on genetic methods provide evidence that genes can move over spatial scales larger than habitat shifts predicted under climate change within one generation. Both theoretical and empirical data suggest that the positive effects of gene flow on adaptation may dominate in many instances. The balance of positive to negative consequences of gene flow may, however, differ for leading edge, core and rear sections of forest distributions. We propose future experimental and theoretical research that would better integrate dispersal biology with evolutionary quantitative genetics and improve predictions of tree responses to climate change.

  7. Adaptability of Protein Structures to Enable Functional Interactions and Evolutionary Implications

    PubMed Central

    Haliloglu, Turkan; Bahar, Ivet

    2015-01-01

    Several studies in recent years have drawn attention to the ability of proteins to adapt to intermolecular interactions by conformational changes along structure-encoded collective modes of motions. These so-called soft modes, primarily driven by entropic effects, facilitate, if not enable, functional interactions. They represent excursions on the conformational space along principal low-ascent directions/paths away from the original free energy minimum, and they are accessible to the protein even prior to protein-protein/ligand interactions. An emerging concept from these studies is the evolution of structures or modular domains to favor such modes of motion that will be recruited or integrated for enabling functional interactions. Structural dynamics, including the allosteric switches in conformation that are often stabilized upon formation of complexes and multimeric assemblies, emerge as key properties that are evolutionarily maintained to accomplish biological activities, consistent with the paradigm sequence → structure → dynamics → function where ‘dynamics’ bridges structure and function. PMID:26254902

  8. Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change in OECD Countries.

    PubMed

    Austin, Stephanie E; Biesbroek, Robbert; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Ford, James D; Parker, Stephen; Fleury, Manon D

    2016-09-07

    Climate change is a major challenge facing public health. National governments play a key role in public health adaptation to climate change, but there are competing views on what responsibilities and obligations this will-or should-include in different nations. This study aims to: (1) examine how national-level public health adaptation is occurring in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries; (2) examine the roles national governments are taking in public health adaptation; and (3) critically appraise three key governance dimensions of national-level health adaptation-cross-sectoral collaboration, vertical coordination and national health adaptation planning-and identify practical examples suited to different contexts. We systematically reviewed publicly available public health adaptation to climate change documents and webpages by national governments in ten OECD countries using systematic web searches, assessment of self-reporting, and content analysis. Our findings suggest national governments are primarily addressing infectious disease and heat-related risks posed by climate change, typically emphasizing capacity building or information-based groundwork initiatives. We find national governments are taking a variety of approaches to public health adaptation to climate change that do not follow expected convergence and divergence by governance structure. We discuss practical options for incorporating cross-sectoral collaboration, vertical coordination and national health adaptation planning into a variety of contexts and identify leaders national governments can look to to inform their public health adaptation planning. Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement and subsequent increased momentum for adaptation, research tracking adaptation is needed to define what health adaptation looks like in practice, reveal insights that can be taken up across states and sectors, and ensure policy orientated learning.

  9. Scientific Change as AN Evolutionary, Information Process: its Structural, Conceptual and Cultural Elements.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Bustany, Fatin Khalil Ismail

    1989-09-01

    My aim in this dissertation is to develop an evolutionary conception of science based on recent studies in evolution theory, the thermodynamics of non-equilibrium and information theory, as exemplified in the works of Prigogine, Jantsch, Wicken and Gatlin. The nature of scientific change is of interest to philosophers and historians of science. Some construe it after a revolutionary model (e.g. Kuhn), others adopt an evolutionary view (e.g. Toulmin). It appears to me that it is possible to construct an evolutionary model encompassing the revolutionary mode as well. The following strategies are employed: (1) A distinction is made between two types of growth: one represents gradual change, the other designates radical transformations, and two principles underlying the process of change, one of conservation, the other of innovation. (2) Science in general, and scientific theories in particular, are looked upon as dissipative structures. These are characterised by openness, irreversibility and self-organisation. In terms of these, one may identify a state of "normal" growth and another of violent fluctuations leading to a new order (revolutionary phase). These fluctuations are generated by the flow of information coming from the observable world. The chief merits of this evolutionary model of the development of science lie in the emphasis it puts on the relation of science to its environment, in the description of scientific change as a process of interaction between internal and external elements (structural, conceptual, and cultural), in the enhancement of our understanding progress and rationality in science, and in the post Neo -Darwinian conception of evolution, stressing self-organisation, the innovativeness of the evolutionary process and the trend toward complexification. These features are also manifested in the process of discovery, which is a fundamental part of the scientific enterprise. In addition, a distinction is made between two types of discovery

  10. On the maintenance of genetic variation and adaptation to environmental change: considerations from population genomics in fishes.

    PubMed

    Bernatchez, L

    2016-12-01

    The first goal of this paper was to overview modern approaches to local adaptation, with a focus on the use of population genomics data to detect signals of natural selection in fishes. Several mechanisms are discussed that may enhance the maintenance of genetic variation and evolutionary potential, which have been overlooked and should be considered in future theoretical development and predictive models: the prevalence of soft sweeps, polygenic basis of adaptation, balancing selection and transient polymorphisms, parallel evolution, as well as epigenetic variation. Research on fish population genomics has provided ample evidence for local adaptation at the genome level. Pervasive adaptive evolution, however, seems to almost never involve the fixation of beneficial alleles. Instead, adaptation apparently proceeds most commonly by soft sweeps entailing shifts in frequencies of alleles being shared between differentially adapted populations. One obvious factor contributing to the maintenance of standing genetic variation in the face of selective pressures is that adaptive phenotypic traits are most often highly polygenic, and consequently the response to selection should derive mostly from allelic co-variances among causative loci rather than pronounced allele frequency changes. Balancing selection in its various forms may also play an important role in maintaining adaptive genetic variation and the evolutionary potential of species to cope with environmental change. A large body of literature on fishes also shows that repeated evolution of adaptive phenotypes is a ubiquitous evolutionary phenomenon that seems to occur most often via different genetic solutions, further adding to the potential options of species to cope with a changing environment. Moreover, a paradox is emerging from recent fish studies whereby populations of highly reduced effective population sizes and impoverished genetic diversity can apparently retain their adaptive potential in some

  11. Phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution contribute to advancing flowering phenology in response to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Jill T.; Inouye, David W.; McKinney, Amy M.; Colautti, Robert I.; Mitchell-Olds, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change has already altered the timing of major life-history transitions, such as the initiation of reproduction. Both phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution can underlie rapid phenological shifts in response to climate change, but their relative contributions are poorly understood. Here, we combine a continuous 38 year field survey with quantitative genetic field experiments to assess adaptation in the context of climate change. We focused on Boechera stricta (Brassicaeae), a mustard native to the US Rocky Mountains. Flowering phenology advanced significantly from 1973 to 2011, and was strongly associated with warmer temperatures and earlier snowmelt dates. Strong directional selection favoured earlier flowering in contemporary environments (2010–2011). Climate change could drive this directional selection, and promote even earlier flowering as temperatures continue to increase. Our quantitative genetic analyses predict a response to selection of 0.2 to 0.5 days acceleration in flowering per generation, which could account for more than 20 per cent of the phenological change observed in the long-term dataset. However, the strength of directional selection and the predicted evolutionary response are likely much greater now than even 30 years ago because of rapidly changing climatic conditions. We predict that adaptation will likely be necessary for long-term in situ persistence in the context of climate change. PMID:22787021

  12. Phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution contribute to advancing flowering phenology in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jill T; Inouye, David W; McKinney, Amy M; Colautti, Robert I; Mitchell-Olds, Tom

    2012-09-22

    Anthropogenic climate change has already altered the timing of major life-history transitions, such as the initiation of reproduction. Both phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution can underlie rapid phenological shifts in response to climate change, but their relative contributions are poorly understood. Here, we combine a continuous 38 year field survey with quantitative genetic field experiments to assess adaptation in the context of climate change. We focused on Boechera stricta (Brassicaeae), a mustard native to the US Rocky Mountains. Flowering phenology advanced significantly from 1973 to 2011, and was strongly associated with warmer temperatures and earlier snowmelt dates. Strong directional selection favoured earlier flowering in contemporary environments (2010-2011). Climate change could drive this directional selection, and promote even earlier flowering as temperatures continue to increase. Our quantitative genetic analyses predict a response to selection of 0.2 to 0.5 days acceleration in flowering per generation, which could account for more than 20 per cent of the phenological change observed in the long-term dataset. However, the strength of directional selection and the predicted evolutionary response are likely much greater now than even 30 years ago because of rapidly changing climatic conditions. We predict that adaptation will likely be necessary for long-term in situ persistence in the context of climate change.

  13. Climate Change Education for Mitigation and Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Allison

    2012-01-01

    This article makes the case for the education sector an untapped opportunity to combat climate change. It sets forth a definition of Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development that is comprehensive and multidisciplinary and asserts that it must not only include relevant content knowledge on climate change, environmental and social…

  14. Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change in OECD Countries

    PubMed Central

    Austin, Stephanie E.; Biesbroek, Robbert; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Ford, James D.; Parker, Stephen; Fleury, Manon D.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is a major challenge facing public health. National governments play a key role in public health adaptation to climate change, but there are competing views on what responsibilities and obligations this will—or should—include in different nations. This study aims to: (1) examine how national-level public health adaptation is occurring in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries; (2) examine the roles national governments are taking in public health adaptation; and (3) critically appraise three key governance dimensions of national-level health adaptation—cross-sectoral collaboration, vertical coordination and national health adaptation planning—and identify practical examples suited to different contexts. We systematically reviewed publicly available public health adaptation to climate change documents and webpages by national governments in ten OECD countries using systematic web searches, assessment of self-reporting, and content analysis. Our findings suggest national governments are primarily addressing infectious disease and heat-related risks posed by climate change, typically emphasizing capacity building or information-based groundwork initiatives. We find national governments are taking a variety of approaches to public health adaptation to climate change that do not follow expected convergence and divergence by governance structure. We discuss practical options for incorporating cross-sectoral collaboration, vertical coordination and national health adaptation planning into a variety of contexts and identify leaders national governments can look to to inform their public health adaptation planning. Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement and subsequent increased momentum for adaptation, research tracking adaptation is needed to define what health adaptation looks like in practice, reveal insights that can be taken up across states and sectors, and ensure policy orientated learning. PMID:27618074

  15. Adapting to the Effects of Climate Change on Inuit Health

    PubMed Central

    Ford, James D.; Willox, Ashlee Cunsolo; Chatwood, Susan; Furgal, Christopher; Harper, Sherilee; Mauro, Ian; Pearce, Tristan

    2014-01-01

    Climate change will have far-reaching implications for Inuit health. Focusing on adaptation offers a proactive approach for managing climate-related health risks—one that views Inuit populations as active agents in planning and responding at household, community, and regional levels. Adaptation can direct attention to the root causes of climate vulnerability and emphasize the importance of traditional knowledge regarding environmental change and adaptive strategies. An evidence base on adaptation options and processes for Inuit regions is currently lacking, however, thus constraining climate policy development. In this article, we tackled this deficit, drawing upon our understanding of the determinants of health vulnerability to climate change in Canada to propose key considerations for adaptation decision-making in an Inuit context. PMID:24754615

  16. Understanding Farmer Perspectives on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

    PubMed Central

    Morton, Lois Wright; Hobbs, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture is vulnerable to climate change and a source of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Farmers face pressures to adjust agricultural systems to make them more resilient in the face of increasingly variable weather (adaptation) and reduce GHG production (mitigation). This research examines relationships between Iowa farmers’ trust in environmental or agricultural interest groups as sources of climate information, climate change beliefs, perceived climate risks to agriculture, and support for adaptation and mitigation responses. Results indicate that beliefs varied with trust, and beliefs in turn had a significant direct effect on perceived risks from climate change. Support for adaptation varied with perceived risks, while attitudes toward GHG reduction (mitigation) were associated predominantly with variation in beliefs. Most farmers were supportive of adaptation responses, but few endorsed GHG reduction, suggesting that outreach should focus on interventions that have adaptive and mitigative properties (e.g., reduced tillage, improved fertilizer management). PMID:25983336

  17. Adapting to the effects of climate change on Inuit health.

    PubMed

    Ford, James D; Willox, Ashlee Cunsolo; Chatwood, Susan; Furgal, Christopher; Harper, Sherilee; Mauro, Ian; Pearce, Tristan

    2014-06-01

    Climate change will have far-reaching implications for Inuit health. Focusing on adaptation offers a proactive approach for managing climate-related health risks-one that views Inuit populations as active agents in planning and responding at household, community, and regional levels. Adaptation can direct attention to the root causes of climate vulnerability and emphasize the importance of traditional knowledge regarding environmental change and adaptive strategies. An evidence base on adaptation options and processes for Inuit regions is currently lacking, however, thus constraining climate policy development. In this article, we tackled this deficit, drawing upon our understanding of the determinants of health vulnerability to climate change in Canada to propose key considerations for adaptation decision-making in an Inuit context.

  18. A Meta-Analysis of Urban Climate Change Adaptation ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The concentration of people, infrastructure, and ecosystem services in urban areas make them prime sites for climate change adaptation. While advances have been made in developing frameworks for adaptation planning and identifying both real and potential barriers to action, empirical work evaluating urban adaptation planning processes has been relatively piecemeal. Existing assessments of current experience with urban adaptation provide necessarily broad generalizations based on the available peer-reviewed literature. This paper uses a meta-analysis of U.S. cities’ current experience with urban adaptation planning drawing from 54 sources that include peer-reviewed literature, government reports, white papers, and reports published by non-governmental organizations. The analysis specifically evaluates the institutional support structures being developed for urban climate change adaptation. The results demonstrate that adaptation planning is driven by a desire to reduce vulnerability and often catalyzes new collaborations and coordination mechanisms in urban governance. As a result, building capacity for urban climate change adaptation planning requires a focus not only on city governments themselves but also on the complex horizontal and vertical networks that have arisen around such efforts. Existing adaptation planning often lacks attention to equity issues, social vulnerability, and the influence of non-climatic factors on vulnerability. Engaging city govern

  19. Predicting demographically sustainable rates of adaptation: can great tit breeding time keep pace with climate change?

    PubMed Central

    Gienapp, Phillip; Lof, Marjolein; Reed, Thomas E.; McNamara, John; Verhulst, Simon; Visser, Marcel E.

    2013-01-01

    Populations need to adapt to sustained climate change, which requires micro-evolutionary change in the long term. A key question is how the rate of this micro-evolutionary change compares with the rate of environmental change, given that theoretically there is a ‘critical rate of environmental change’ beyond which increased maladaptation leads to population extinction. Here, we parametrize two closely related models to predict this critical rate using data from a long-term study of great tits (Parus major). We used stochastic dynamic programming to predict changes in optimal breeding time under three different climate scenarios. Using these results we parametrized two theoretical models to predict critical rates. Results from both models agreed qualitatively in that even ‘mild’ rates of climate change would be close to these critical rates with respect to great tit breeding time, while for scenarios close to the upper limit of IPCC climate projections the calculated critical rates would be clearly exceeded with possible consequences for population persistence. We therefore tentatively conclude that micro-evolution, together with plasticity, would rescue only the population from mild rates of climate change, although the models make many simplifying assumptions that remain to be tested. PMID:23209174

  20. INTEGRATING EVOLUTIONARY AND FUNCTIONAL APPROACHES TO INFER ADAPTATION AT SPECIFIC LOCI

    PubMed Central

    Storz, Jay F.; Wheat, Christopher W.

    2010-01-01

    Inferences about adaptation at specific loci are often exclusively based on the static analysis of DNA sequence variation. Ideally, population-genetic evidence for positive selection serves as a stepping-off point for experimental studies to elucidate the functional significance of the putatively adaptive variation. We argue that inferences about adaptation at specific loci are best achieved by integrating the indirect, retrospective insights provided by population-genetic analyses with the more direct, mechanistic insights provided by functional experiments. Integrative studies of adaptive genetic variation may sometimes be motivated by experimental insights into molecular function, which then provide the impetus to perform population genetic tests to evaluate whether the functional variation is of adaptive significance. In other cases, studies may be initiated by genome scans of DNA variation to identify candidate loci for recent adaptation. Results of such analyses can then motivate experimental efforts to test whether the identified candidate loci do in fact contribute to functional variation in some fitness-related phenotype. Functional studies can provide corroborative evidence for positive selection at particular loci, and can potentially reveal specific molecular mechanisms of adaptation. PMID:20500215

  1. Adaptation to climate change in the Ontario public health sector

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Climate change is among the major challenges for health this century, and adaptation to manage adverse health outcomes will be unavoidable. The risks in Ontario – Canada’s most populous province – include increasing temperatures, more frequent and intense extreme weather events, and alterations to precipitation regimes. Socio-economic-demographic patterns could magnify the implications climate change has for Ontario, including the presence of rapidly growing vulnerable populations, exacerbation of warming trends by heat-islands in large urban areas, and connectedness to global transportation networks. This study examines climate change adaptation in the public health sector in Ontario using information from interviews with government officials. Methods Fifty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted, four with provincial and federal health officials and 49 with actors in public health and health relevant sectors at the municipal level. We identify adaptation efforts, barriers and opportunities for current and future intervention. Results Results indicate recognition that climate change will affect the health of Ontarians. Health officials are concerned about how a changing climate could exacerbate existing health issues or create new health burdens, specifically extreme heat (71%), severe weather (68%) and poor air-quality (57%). Adaptation is currently taking the form of mainstreaming climate change into existing public health programs. While adaptive progress has relied on local leadership, federal support, political will, and inter-agency efforts, a lack of resources constrains the sustainability of long-term adaptation programs and the acquisition of data necessary to support effective policies. Conclusions This study provides a snapshot of climate change adaptation and needs in the public health sector in Ontario. Public health departments will need to capitalize on opportunities to integrate climate change into policies and programs

  2. Engaging a moving target: Adapting to rates of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shayegh, S.; Caldeira, K.; Moreno-Cruz, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is affecting the planet and its human and natural systems at an increasing rate. As temperatures continue to rise, the international community has increasingly been considering adaptation measures to prepare for future climate change. However, most discussion around adaptation strategies has focused on preparedness for some expected amount of climate change impacts, e.g. 2 meters sea level rise. In this study, we discuss adaptation to rates of change as an alternative conceptual framework for thinking about adaptation. Adaptation is not only about adapting to amounts of change, but the rate at which these changes occur is also critically important. We ground our discussion with an example of optimal coastal investment in the face of ongoing sea level rise. Sea level rise threatens coastal assets. Finite resources could be devoted to building infrastructure further inland or to building coastal defense systems. A possible policy response could be to create a "no-build" coastal buffer zone that anticipates a future higher sea level. We present a quantitative model that illustrates the interplay among various important factors (rate of sea level rise, discount rate, capital depreciation rate, attractiveness of coastal land, etc). For some cases, strategies that combine periodic defensive investments (e.g. dikes) with planned retreat can maximize welfare when adapting to rates of climate change. In other cases, planned retreat may be optimal. It is important to prepare for ongoing increasing amounts of climate change. Preparing for a fixed amount of climate change can lead to a suboptimal solution. Climate is likely to continue changing throughout this century and beyond. To reduce adverse climate impacts, ecosystems and human systems will need to continuously adapt to a moving target.

  3. Complex Adaptive Schools: Educational Leadership and School Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kershner, Brad; McQuillan, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    This paper utilizes the theoretical framework of complexity theory to compare and contrast leadership and educational change in two urban schools. Drawing on the notion of a complex adaptive system--an interdependent network of interacting elements that learns and evolves in adapting to an ever-shifting context--our case studies seek to reveal the…

  4. Modeling Two Types of Adaptation to Climate Change

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mitigation and adaptation are the two key responses available to policymakers to reduce the risks of climate change. We model these two policies together in a new DICE-based integrated assessment model that characterizes adaptation as either short-lived flow spending or long-live...

  5. Assessing institutional capacities to adapt to climate change - integrating psychological dimensions in the Adaptive Capacity Wheel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grothmann, T.; Grecksch, K.; Winges, M.; Siebenhüner, B.

    2013-03-01

    Several case studies show that "soft social factors" (e.g. institutions, perceptions, social capital) strongly affect social capacities to adapt to climate change. Many soft social factors can probably be changed faster than "hard social factors" (e.g. economic and technological development) and are therefore particularly important for building social capacities. However, there are almost no methodologies for the systematic assessment of soft social factors. Gupta et al. (2010) have developed the Adaptive Capacity Wheel (ACW) for assessing the adaptive capacity of institutions. The ACW differentiates 22 criteria to assess six dimensions: variety, learning capacity, room for autonomous change, leadership, availability of resources, fair governance. To include important psychological factors we extended the ACW by two dimensions: "adaptation motivation" refers to actors' motivation to realise, support and/or promote adaptation to climate. "Adaptation belief" refers to actors' perceptions of realisability and effectiveness of adaptation measures. We applied the extended ACW to assess adaptive capacities of four sectors - water management, flood/coastal protection, civil protection and regional planning - in North Western Germany. The assessments of adaptation motivation and belief provided a clear added value. The results also revealed some methodological problems in applying the ACW (e.g. overlap of dimensions), for which we propose methodological solutions.

  6. Yeast adapts to a changing stressful environment by evolving cross-protection and anticipatory gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Dhar, Riddhiman; Sägesser, Rudolf; Weikert, Christian; Wagner, Andreas

    2013-03-01

    Organisms can protect themselves against future environmental change. An example is cross-protection, where physiological adaptation against a present environmental stressor can protect an organism against a future stressor. Another is anticipation, where an organism uses information about its present environment to trigger gene expression and other physiological changes adaptive in future environments. "Predictive" abilities like this exist in organisms that have been exposed to periodic changes in environments. It is unknown how readily they can evolve. To answer this question, we carried out laboratory evolution experiments in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Specifically, we exposed three replicate populations of yeast to environments that varied cyclically between two stressors, salt stress and oxidative stress, every 10 generations, for a total of 300 generations. We evolved six replicate control populations in only one of these stressors for the same amount of time. We analyzed fitness changes and genome-scale expression changes in all these evolved populations. Our populations evolved asymmetric cross protection, where oxidative stress protects against salt stress but not vice versa. Gene expression data also suggest the evolution of anticipation and basal gene expression changes that occur uniquely in cyclic environments. Our study shows that highly complex physiological states that are adaptive in future environments can evolve on very short evolutionary time scales.

  7. The genomic landscape of rapid repeated evolutionary adaptation to toxic pollution in wild fish

    EPA Science Inventory

    Atlantic killifish populations have rapidly adapted to normally lethal levels of pollution in four urban estuaries. Through analysis of 384 whole killifish genome sequences and comparative transcriptomics in four pairs of sensitive and tolerant populations, we identify the aryl h...

  8. European information on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jol, A.; Isoard, S.

    2010-09-01

    Vulnerability to natural and technological disasters is increasing due to a combination of intensifying land use, increasing industrial development, further urban expansion and expanding infrastructure and also climate change. At EU level the European Commission's White Paper on adaptation to climate change (published in 2009) highlights that adaptation actions should be focused on the most vulnerable areas and communities in Europe (e.g. mountains, coastal areas, river flood prone areas, Mediterranean, Arctic). Mainstreaming of climate change into existing EU policies will be a key policy, including within the Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Nature protection and biodiversity policies, integrated coastal zone management, other (sectoral) policies (agriculture, forestry, energy, transport, health) and disaster risk prevention. 2010 is the international year on biodiversity and the Conference of Parties of the biodiversity convention will meet in autumn 2010 (Japan) to discuss amongst other post-2010 strategies, objectives and indicators. Both within the Biodiversity Convention (CBD) and the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) there is increasing recognition of the need for integration of biodiversity conservation into climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. Furthermore a number of European countries and also some regions have started to prepare and/or have adopted national adaptation plans or frameworks. Sharing of good practices on climate change vulnerability methods and adaptation actions is so far limited, but is essential to improve such plans, at national, sub national and local level where much of the adaptation action is already taking place and will be expanding in future, also involving increasingly the business community. The EU Clearinghouse on CC impacts, vulnerability and adaptation should address these needs and it is planned to be operational end of 2011. The EEA is expected to have a role in its

  9. Adaptation to Climate change Impacts on the Mediterranean islands' Agriculture (ADAPT2CLIMA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannakopoulos, Christos; Karali, Anna; Lemesios, Giannis; Loizidou, Maria; Papadaskalopoulou, Christina; Moustakas, Konstantinos; Papadopoulou, Maria; Moriondo, Marco; Markou, Marinos; Hatziyanni, Eleni; Pasotti, Luigi

    2016-04-01

    Agriculture is one of the economic sectors that will likely be hit hardest by climate change, since it directly depends on climatic factors such as temperature, sunlight, and precipitation. The EU LIFE ADAPT2CLIMA (http://adapt2clima.eu/en/) project aims to facilitate the development of adaptation strategies for agriculture by deploying and demonstrating an innovative decision support tool. The ADAPT2CLIMA tool will make it possible to simulate the impacts of climate change on crop production and the effectiveness of selected adaptation options in decreasing vulnerability to climate change in three Mediterranean islands, namely Crete (Greece), Sicily (Italy), and Cyprus. The islands were selected for two reasons: firstly, they figure among the most important cultivation areas at national level. Secondly, they exhibit similarities in terms of location (climate), size, climate change threats faced (coastal agriculture, own water resources), agricultural practices, and policy relevance. In particular, the tool will provide: i) climate change projections; ii) hydrological conditions related to agriculture: iii) a vulnerability assessment of selected crops; iv) an evaluation of the adaptation options identified. The project is expected to contribute significantly to increasing climate resilience of agriculture areas in Sicily, Cyprus and Crete as well as at EU and international level by: • Developing, implementing and demonstrating an innovative and interactive decision support tool (ADAPT2CLIMA tool) for adaptation planning in agriculture that estimates future climate change impacts on local water resources, as well as the climate change vulnerability of the agricultural crop production in the project areas; • Evaluating the technical and economic viability of the implementation of the ADAPT2CLIMA tool; • Developing climate change adaptation strategies for agriculture (including a monitoring plan) for the three project areas and presenting them to the competent

  10. The state of climate change adaptation in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, James D.; McDowell, Graham; Jones, Julie

    2014-10-01

    The Arctic climate is rapidly changing, with wide ranging impacts on natural and social systems. A variety of adaptation policies, programs and practices have been adopted to this end, yet our understanding of if, how, and where adaptation is occurring is limited. In response, this paper develops a systematic approach to characterize the current state of adaptation in the Arctic. Using reported adaptations in the English language peer reviewed literature as our data source, we document 157 discrete adaptation initiatives between 2003 and 2013. Results indicate large variations in adaptation by region and sector, dominated by reporting from North America, particularly with regards to subsistence harvesting by Inuit communities. Few adaptations were documented in the European and Russian Arctic, or have a focus on the business and economy, or infrastructure sectors. Adaptations are being motivated primarily by the combination of climatic and non-climatic factors, have a strong emphasis on reducing current vulnerability involving incremental changes to existing risk management processes, and are primarily initiated and led at the individual/community level. There is limited evidence of trans-boundary adaptations or initiatives considering potential cross-scale/sector impacts.

  11. Is supplementary feeding in gardens a driver of evolutionary change in a migratory bird species?

    PubMed

    Plummer, Kate E; Siriwardena, Gavin M; Conway, Greg J; Risely, Kate; Toms, Mike P

    2015-12-01

    Human activities are causing rapid environmental change at a global scale. Urbanization is responsible for some of the most extreme human-altered habitats and is a known driver of evolutionary change, but evidence and understanding of these processes is limited. Here, we investigate the potential underlying mechanisms contributing to the contemporary evolution of migration behaviour in the Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla). Blackcaps from central Europe have been wintering in urban areas of Britain with increasing frequency over the past 60 years, rather than migrating south to the Mediterranean. It has been hypothesized that the popularization of providing supplementary foods for wild birds within Britain may have influenced this marked migratory change, but quantifying the selective forces shaping evolutionary changes remains challenging. Using a long-term national scale data set, we examine both the spatial distribution and interannual variation in blackcap wintering behaviour in Britain in relation to supplementary food availability and local climate. Over a 12-year period, we show that blackcaps are becoming increasingly associated with the provision of supplementary foods in British gardens, and that the reliability of bird food supplies is influencing their winter distribution at a national scale. In addition, local climatic temperatures and broader scale weather variation are also important determinants of blackcap wintering patterns once they arrive in Britain. Based on our findings, we conclude that a synergistic effect of increased availability of feeding resources, in the form of garden bird food, coupled with climatic amelioration, has enabled a successful new wintering population to become established in Britain. As global biodiversity is threatened by human-induced environmental change, this study presents new and timely evidence of the role human activities can play in shaping evolutionary trajectories.

  12. Managing Climate Change Refugia for Climate Adaptation

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concept of refugia has long been studied from theoretical and paleontological perspectives to understand how populations persisted during past periods of unfavorable climate. Recently, researchers have applied the idea to contemporary landscapes to identify climate change ref...

  13. Iowa Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Report

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The findings of a pilot project to work with stakeholders and governments in Iowa to identify barriers to and incentives for considering regional effects of climate change in hazard mitigation planning and other community planning processes.

  14. Savings in locomotor adaptation explained by changes in learning parameters following initial adaptation.

    PubMed

    Mawase, Firas; Shmuelof, Lior; Bar-Haim, Simona; Karniel, Amir

    2014-04-01

    Faster relearning of an external perturbation, savings, offers a behavioral linkage between motor learning and memory. To explain savings effects in reaching adaptation experiments, recent models suggested the existence of multiple learning components, each shows different learning and forgetting properties that may change following initial learning. Nevertheless, the existence of these components in rhythmic movements with other effectors, such as during locomotor adaptation, has not yet been studied. Here, we study savings in locomotor adaptation in two experiments; in the first, subjects adapted to speed perturbations during walking on a split-belt treadmill, briefly adapted to a counter-perturbation and then readapted. In a second experiment, subjects readapted after a prolonged period of washout of initial adaptation. In both experiments we find clear evidence for increased learning rates (savings) during readaptation. We show that the basic error-based multiple timescales linear state space model is not sufficient to explain savings during locomotor adaptation. Instead, we show that locomotor adaptation leads to changes in learning parameters, so that learning rates are faster during readaptation. Interestingly, we find an intersubject correlation between the slow learning component in initial adaptation and the fast learning component in the readaptation phase, suggesting an underlying mechanism for savings. Together, these findings suggest that savings in locomotion and in reaching may share common computational and neuronal mechanisms; both are driven by the slow learning component and are likely to depend on cortical plasticity.

  15. Assessing institutional capacities to adapt to climate change: integrating psychological dimensions in the Adaptive Capacity Wheel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grothmann, T.; Grecksch, K.; Winges, M.; Siebenhüner, B.

    2013-12-01

    Several case studies show that social factors like institutions, perceptions and social capital strongly affect social capacities to adapt to climate change. Together with economic and technological development they are important for building social capacities. However, there are almost no methodologies for the systematic assessment of social factors. After reviewing existing methodologies we identify the Adaptive Capacity Wheel (ACW) by Gupta et al. (2010), developed for assessing the adaptive capacity of institutions, as the most comprehensive and operationalised framework to assess social factors. The ACW differentiates 22 criteria to assess 6 dimensions: variety, learning capacity, room for autonomous change, leadership, availability of resources, fair governance. To include important psychological factors we extended the ACW by two dimensions: "adaptation motivation" refers to actors' motivation to realise, support and/or promote adaptation to climate; "adaptation belief" refers to actors' perceptions of realisability and effectiveness of adaptation measures. We applied the extended ACW to assess adaptive capacities of four sectors - water management, flood/coastal protection, civil protection and regional planning - in northwestern Germany. The assessments of adaptation motivation and belief provided a clear added value. The results also revealed some methodological problems in applying the ACW (e.g. overlap of dimensions), for which we propose methodological solutions.

  16. Climate change, phenological shifts, eco-evolutionary responses and population viability: toward a unifying predictive approach.

    PubMed

    Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Visser, Marcel E

    2011-11-01

    The debate on emission targets of greenhouse gasses designed to limit global climate change has to take into account the ecological consequences. One of the clearest ecological consequences is shifts in phenology. Linking these shifts to changes in population viability under various greenhouse gasses emission scenarios requires a unifying framework. We propose a box-in-a-box modeling approach that couples population models to phenological change. This approach unifies population modeling with both ecological responses to climate change as well as evolutionary processes. We advocate a mechanistic embedded correlative approach, where the link from genes to population is established using a periodic matrix population model. This periodic model has several major advantages: (1) it can include complex seasonal behaviors allowing an easy link with phenological shifts; (2) it provides the structure of the population at each phase, including the distribution of genotypes and phenotypes, allowing a link with evolutionary processes; and (3) it can incorporate the effect of climate at different time periods. We believe that the way climatologists have approached the problem, using atmosphere-ocean coupled circulation models in which components are gradually included and linked to each other, can provide a valuable example to ecologists. We hope that ecologists will take up this challenge and that our preliminary modeling framework will stimulate research toward a unifying predictive model of the ecological consequences of climate change.

  17. Evolutionary consequences of changes in species' geographical distributions driven by Milankovitch climate oscillations.

    PubMed

    Dynesius, M; Jansson, R

    2000-08-01

    We suggest Milankovitch climate oscillations as a common cause for geographical patterns in species diversity, species' range sizes, polyploidy, and the degree of specialization and dispersability of organisms. Periodical changes in the orbit of the Earth cause climatic changes termed Milankovitch oscillations, leading to large changes in the size and location of species' geographical distributions. We name these recurrent changes "orbitally forced species' range dynamics" (ORD). The magnitude of ORD varies in space and time. ORD decreases gradual speciation (attained by gradual changes over many generations), increases range sizes and the proportions of species formed by polyploidy and other "abrupt" mechanisms, selects against specialization, and favor dispersability. Large ORD produces species prone neither to extinction nor gradual speciation. ORD increases with latitude. This produces latitudinal patterns, among them the gradient in species diversity and species' range sizes (Rapoport's rule). Differential ORD and its evolutionary consequences call for new conservation strategies on the regional to global scale.

  18. Evolutionary consequences of changes in species' geographical distributions driven by Milankovitch climate oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Dynesius, Mats; Jansson, Roland

    2000-01-01

    We suggest Milankovitch climate oscillations as a common cause for geographical patterns in species diversity, species' range sizes, polyploidy, and the degree of specialization and dispersability of organisms. Periodical changes in the orbit of the Earth cause climatic changes termed Milankovitch oscillations, leading to large changes in the size and location of species' geographical distributions. We name these recurrent changes “orbitally forced species' range dynamics” (ORD). The magnitude of ORD varies in space and time. ORD decreases gradual speciation (attained by gradual changes over many generations), increases range sizes and the proportions of species formed by polyploidy and other “abrupt” mechanisms, selects against specialization, and favor dispersability. Large ORD produces species prone neither to extinction nor gradual speciation. ORD increases with latitude. This produces latitudinal patterns, among them the gradient in species diversity and species' range sizes (Rapoport's rule). Differential ORD and its evolutionary consequences call for new conservation strategies on the regional to global scale. PMID:10922067

  19. Explaining and overcoming barriers to climate change adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenack, Klaus; Moser, Susanne C.; Hoffmann, Esther; Klein, Richard J. T.; Oberlack, Christoph; Pechan, Anna; Rotter, Maja; Termeer, Catrien J. A. M.

    2014-10-01

    The concept of barriers is increasingly used to describe the obstacles that hinder the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation. The growing literature on barriers to adaptation reveals not only commonly reported barriers, but also conflicting evidence, and few explanations of why barriers exist and change. There is thus a need for research that focuses on the interdependencies between barriers and considers the dynamic ways in which barriers develop and persist. Such research, which would be actor-centred and comparative, would help to explain barriers to adaptation and provide insights into how to overcome them.

  20. Climate variability slows evolutionary responses of Colias butterflies to recent climate change.

    PubMed

    Kingsolver, Joel G; Buckley, Lauren B

    2015-03-07

    How does recent climate warming and climate variability alter fitness, phenotypic selection and evolution in natural populations? We combine biophysical, demographic and evolutionary models with recent climate data to address this question for the subalpine and alpine butterfly, Colias meadii, in the southern Rocky Mountains. We focus on predicting patterns of selection and evolution for a key thermoregulatory trait, melanin (solar absorptivity) on the posterior ventral hindwings, which affects patterns of body temperature, flight activity, adult and egg survival, and reproductive success in Colias. Both mean annual summer temperatures and thermal variability within summers have increased during the past 60 years at subalpine and alpine sites. At the subalpine site, predicted directional selection on wing absorptivity has shifted from generally positive (favouring increased wing melanin) to generally negative during the past 60 years, but there is substantial variation among years in the predicted magnitude and direction of selection and the optimal absorptivity. The predicted magnitude of directional selection at the alpine site declined during the past 60 years and varies substantially among years, but selection has generally been positive at this site. Predicted evolutionary responses to mean climate warming at the subalpine site since 1980 is small, because of the variability in selection and asymmetry of the fitness function. At both sites, the predicted effects of adaptive evolution on mean population fitness are much smaller than the fluctuations in mean fitness due to climate variability among years. Our analyses suggest that variation in climate within and among years may strongly limit evolutionary responses of ectotherms to mean climate warming in these habitats.

  1. Climate variability slows evolutionary responses of Colias butterflies to recent climate change

    PubMed Central

    Kingsolver, Joel G.; Buckley, Lauren B.

    2015-01-01

    How does recent climate warming and climate variability alter fitness, phenotypic selection and evolution in natural populations? We combine biophysical, demographic and evolutionary models with recent climate data to address this question for the subalpine and alpine butterfly, Colias meadii, in the southern Rocky Mountains. We focus on predicting patterns of selection and evolution for a key thermoregulatory trait, melanin (solar absorptivity) on the posterior ventral hindwings, which affects patterns of body temperature, flight activity, adult and egg survival, and reproductive success in Colias. Both mean annual summer temperatures and thermal variability within summers have increased during the past 60 years at subalpine and alpine sites. At the subalpine site, predicted directional selection on wing absorptivity has shifted from generally positive (favouring increased wing melanin) to generally negative during the past 60 years, but there is substantial variation among years in the predicted magnitude and direction of selection and the optimal absorptivity. The predicted magnitude of directional selection at the alpine site declined during the past 60 years and varies substantially among years, but selection has generally been positive at this site. Predicted evolutionary responses to mean climate warming at the subalpine site since 1980 is small, because of the variability in selection and asymmetry of the fitness function. At both sites, the predicted effects of adaptive evolution on mean population fitness are much smaller than the fluctuations in mean fitness due to climate variability among years. Our analyses suggest that variation in climate within and among years may strongly limit evolutionary responses of ectotherms to mean climate warming in these habitats. PMID:25631995

  2. Is Predominant Clonal Evolution a Common Evolutionary Adaptation to Parasitism in Pathogenic Parasitic Protozoa, Fungi, Bacteria, and Viruses?

    PubMed

    Tibayrenc, M; Ayala, F J

    2017-01-01

    We propose that predominant clonal evolution (PCE) in microbial pathogens be defined as restrained recombination on an evolutionary scale, with genetic exchange scarce enough to not break the prevalent pattern of clonal population structure. The main features of PCE are (1) strong linkage disequilibrium, (2) the widespread occurrence of stable genetic clusters blurred by occasional bouts of genetic exchange ('near-clades'), (3) the existence of a "clonality threshold", beyond which recombination is efficiently countered by PCE, and near-clades irreversibly diverge. We hypothesize that the PCE features are not mainly due to natural selection but also chiefly originate from in-built genetic properties of pathogens. We show that the PCE model obtains even in microbes that have been considered as 'highly recombining', such as Neisseria meningitidis, and that some clonality features are observed even in Plasmodium, which has been long described as panmictic. Lastly, we provide evidence that PCE features are also observed in viruses, taking into account their extremely fast genetic turnover. The PCE model provides a convenient population genetic framework for any kind of micropathogen. It makes it possible to describe convenient units of analysis (clones and near-clades) for all applied studies. Due to PCE features, these units of analysis are stable in space and time, and clearly delimited. The PCE model opens up the possibility of revisiting the problem of species definition in these organisms. We hypothesize that PCE constitutes a major evolutionary strategy for protozoa, fungi, bacteria, and viruses to adapt to parasitism.

  3. An evolutionary hypothesis of suicide: why it could be biologically adaptive and is so prevalent in certain occupations.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Midori; Kinney, Dennis K

    2011-06-01

    From an evolutionary perspective, suicide is a puzzle, because it has serious adverse effects, yet is remarkably common and heritable. An hypothesis is proposed to explain this puzzle, by explaining how suicide could be adaptive through reducing risk that individuals will transmit infections to kin. Empirical evidence supports four predictions from the hypothesis. There are well-established mechanisms by which infections and immune factors increase risk for mental disorders that contribute to suicide. Suicide is more prevalent in occupations with greater exposure to infection and immune-compromising factors and at higher latitudes, where key environmental factors increase vulnerability to infection. In several other highly social species, suicide-like behaviors have evolved to reduce transmission of infections. If the hypothesis is correct, detection and treatment of underlying infections and immune dysfunction should help predict and prevent suicidal behavior, while also combating spread of infectious diseases.

  4. Convergent evolution of the adaptive immune response in jawed vertebrates and cyclostomes: An evolutionary biology approach based study.

    PubMed

    Morales Poole, Jose Ricardo; Paganini, Julien; Pontarotti, Pierre

    2017-02-21

    Two different adaptive immune systems (AIS) are present in the two phyla of vertebrates (jawed vertebrates and cyclostomes). The jawed vertebrate system is based on IG/TCR/RAG/MHC while the cyclostome system is based on VLRCs and AID-like enzymes both systems using homologous Cell types (B-cell and B-cell Like, T-cell and T-cell like). We will present our current view of the evolution of these two AISs and present alternative hypotheses that could explain the apparent convergent evolution of the two systems. We will also discuss why comparative immunology analyses should be based on evolutionary biology approaches and not on the scale of progress one.

  5. [Adaptive changes in the body upon exposure to electromagnetic radiation].

    PubMed

    Zubkova, S M

    1996-01-01

    The chance to use electromagnetic exposures as active adaptogen and the detecting of adaptive changes following them were objects of our studies. The data of experimental and clinical studies significative the dependence of changes on the functional state of organism were seen. Particular attention is paid to the site of exposure and to the advantages in the action of electromagnetic exposures on areas overlaying the endocrine glands and control centers of central nerve system. In these conditions electromagnetic exposures play a part of trigger initiated natural processes of homeostatic regulation in the organism functional systems. It is shown that the course of electromagnetic exposures in wide frequency range until laser radiation (infrared and red) arises adaptive changes of the regulator systems, of the bioenergetic and the biosynthetic processes in myocardium, liver, brain, thymus and other tissues predetermined genetically and secured the power of the adaptive systems. The cross-adaptation effects underlie the electromagnetic exposures medical action.

  6. Changing Rural Social Systems: Adaptation and Survival.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Nan E., Ed.; Wang, Ching-li, Ed.

    This book includes studies of globalization-related social changes in rural areas of the United States and other countries and implications of these studies for sociological theory. Although no chapter focuses exclusively on education, education-related themes include rural school dropouts and intergenerational poverty, the migration of rural…

  7. Adapting dairy farms to climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change is projected to affect many aspects of dairy production. These aspects include the growing season length, crop growth processes, harvest timing and losses, heat stress on cattle, nutrient emissions and losses, and ultimately farm profitability. To assess the sensitivity of dairy farms...

  8. Climate variability and climate change vulnerability and adaptation. Workshop summary

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatti, N.; Cirillo, R.R.; Dixon, R.K.

    1995-12-31

    Representatives from fifteen countries met in Prague, Czech Republic, on September 11-15, 1995, to share results from the analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to global climate change. The workshop focused on the issues of global climate change and its impacts on various sectors of a national economy. The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), which has been signed by more than 150 governments worldwide, calls on signatory parties to develop and communicate measures they are implementing to respond to global climate change. An analysis of a country`s vulnerability to changes in the climate helps it identify suitable adaptation measures. These analyses are designed to determine the extent of the impacts of global climate change on sensitive sectors such as agricultural crops, forests, grasslands and livestock, water resources, and coastal areas. Once it is determined how vulnerable a country may be to climate change, it is possible to identify adaptation measures for ameliorating some or all of the effects.The objectives of the vulnerability and adaptation workshop were to: The objectives of the vulnerability and adaptation workshop were to: Provide an opportunity for countries to describe their study results; Encourage countries to learn from the experience of the more complete assessments and adjust their studies accordingly; Identify issues and analyses that require further investigation; and Summarize results and experiences for governmental and intergovernmental organizations.

  9. Eco-evolutionary dynamics in urbanized landscapes: evolution, species sorting and the change in zooplankton body size along urbanization gradients.

    PubMed

    Brans, Kristien I; Govaert, Lynn; Engelen, Jessie M T; Gianuca, Andros T; Souffreau, Caroline; De Meester, Luc

    2017-01-19

    Urbanization causes both changes in community composition and evolutionary responses, but most studies focus on these responses in isolation. We performed an integrated analysis assessing the relative contribution of intra- and interspecific trait turnover to the observed change in zooplankton community body size in 83 cladoceran communities along urbanization gradients quantified at seven spatial scales (50-3200 m radii). We also performed a quantitative genetic analysis on 12 Daphnia magna populations along the same urbanization gradient. Body size in zooplankton communities generally declined with increasing urbanization, but the opposite was observed for communities dominated by large species. The contribution of intraspecific trait variation to community body size turnover with urbanization strongly varied with the spatial scale considered, and was highest for communities dominated by large cladoceran species and at intermediate spatial scales. Genotypic size at maturity was smaller for urban than for rural D. magna populations and for animals cultured at 24°C compared with 20°C. While local genetic adaptation likely contributed to the persistence of D. magna in the urban heat islands, buffering for the phenotypic shift to larger body sizes with increasing urbanization, community body size turnover was mainly driven by non-genetic intraspecific trait change.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.

  10. Disentangling adaptive evolutionary radiations and the role of diet in promoting diversification on islands

    PubMed Central

    DeMiguel, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Although the initial formulation of modern concepts of adaptive radiation arose from consideration of the fossil data, rigorous attempts to identify this phenomenon in the fossil record are largely uncommon. Here I focus on direct evidence of the diet (through tooth-wear patterns) and ecologically-relevant traits of one of the most renowned fossil vertebrates-the Miocene ruminant Hoplitomeryx from the island of Gargano-to deepen our understanding of the most likely causal forces under which adaptive radiations emerge on islands. Results show how accelerated accumulation of species and early-bursts of ecological diversification occur after invading an island, and provide insights on the interplay between diet and demographic (population-density), ecological (competition/food requirements) and abiotic (climate-instability) factors, identified as drivers of adaptive diversification. A pronounced event of overpopulation and a phase of aridity determined most of the rate and magnitude of radiation, and pushed species to expand diets from soft-leafy foods to tougher-harder items. Unexpectedly, results show that herbivorous mammals are restricted to browsing habits on small-islands, even if bursts of ecological diversification and dietary divergence occur. This study deepens our understanding of the mechanisms promoting adaptive radiations, and forces us to reevaluate the role of diet in the origins and evolution of islands mammals. PMID:27405690

  11. Disentangling adaptive evolutionary radiations and the role of diet in promoting diversification on islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demiguel, Daniel

    2016-07-01

    Although the initial formulation of modern concepts of adaptive radiation arose from consideration of the fossil data, rigorous attempts to identify this phenomenon in the fossil record are largely uncommon. Here I focus on direct evidence of the diet (through tooth-wear patterns) and ecologically-relevant traits of one of the most renowned fossil vertebrates-the Miocene ruminant Hoplitomeryx from the island of Gargano-to deepen our understanding of the most likely causal forces under which adaptive radiations emerge on islands. Results show how accelerated accumulation of species and early-bursts of ecological diversification occur after invading an island, and provide insights on the interplay between diet and demographic (population-density), ecological (competition/food requirements) and abiotic (climate-instability) factors, identified as drivers of adaptive diversification. A pronounced event of overpopulation and a phase of aridity determined most of the rate and magnitude of radiation, and pushed species to expand diets from soft-leafy foods to tougher-harder items. Unexpectedly, results show that herbivorous mammals are restricted to browsing habits on small-islands, even if bursts of ecological diversification and dietary divergence occur. This study deepens our understanding of the mechanisms promoting adaptive radiations, and forces us to reevaluate the role of diet in the origins and evolution of islands mammals.

  12. Forest climate change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment in Himalayas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chitale, V. S.; Shrestha, H. L.; Agarwal, N. K.; Choudhurya, D.; Gilani, H.; Dhonju, H. K.; Murthy, M. S. R.

    2014-11-01

    Forests offer an important basis for creating and safeguarding more climate-resilient communities over Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment to climate change and developing knowledge base to identify and support relevant adaptation strategies is realized as an urgent need. The multi scale adaptation strategies portray increasing complexity with the increasing levels in terms of data requirements, vulnerability understanding and decision making to choose a particular adaptation strategy. We present here how such complexities could be addressed and adaptation decisions could be either directly supported by open source remote sensing based forestry products or geospatial analysis and modelled products. The forest vulnerability assessment under climate change scenario coupled with increasing forest social dependence was studied using IPCC Landscape scale Vulnerability framework in Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) situated in Nepal. Around twenty layers of geospatial information on climate, forest biophysical and forest social dependence data was used to assess forest vulnerability and associated adaptation needs using self-learning decision tree based approaches. The increase in forest fires, evapotranspiration and reduction in productivity over changing climate scenario was observed. The adaptation measures on enhancing productivity, improving resilience, reducing or avoiding pressure with spatial specificity are identified to support suitable decision making. The study provides spatial analytical framework to evaluate multitude of parameters to understand vulnerabilities and assess scope for alternative adaptation strategies with spatial explicitness.

  13. The Genome Sequence of the North-European Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Unravels Evolutionary Adaptation Mechanisms in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Wóycicki, Rafał; Witkowicz, Justyna; Gawroński, Piotr; Dąbrowska, Joanna; Lomsadze, Alexandre; Pawełkowicz, Magdalena; Siedlecka, Ewa; Yagi, Kohei; Pląder, Wojciech; Seroczyńska, Anna; Śmiech, Mieczysław; Gutman, Wojciech; Niemirowicz-Szczytt, Katarzyna; Bartoszewski, Grzegorz; Tagashira, Norikazu; Hoshi, Yoshikazu; Borodovsky, Mark; Karpiński, Stanisław; Malepszy, Stefan; Przybecki, Zbigniew

    2011-01-01

    Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), a widely cultivated crop, has originated from Eastern Himalayas and secondary domestication regions includes highly divergent climate conditions e.g. temperate and subtropical. We wanted to uncover adaptive genome differences between the cucumber cultivars and what sort of evolutionary molecular mechanisms regulate genetic adaptation of plants to different ecosystems and organism biodiversity. Here we present the draft genome sequence of the Cucumis sativus genome of the North-European Borszczagowski cultivar (line B10) and comparative genomics studies with the known genomes of: C. sativus (Chinese cultivar – Chinese Long (line 9930)), Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus trichocarpa and Oryza sativa. Cucumber genomes show extensive chromosomal rearrangements, distinct differences in quantity of the particular genes (e.g. involved in photosynthesis, respiration, sugar metabolism, chlorophyll degradation, regulation of gene expression, photooxidative stress tolerance, higher non-optimal temperatures tolerance and ammonium ion assimilation) as well as in distributions of abscisic acid-, dehydration- and ethylene-responsive cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in promoters of orthologous group of genes, which lead to the specific adaptation features. Abscisic acid treatment of non-acclimated Arabidopsis and C. sativus seedlings induced moderate freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis but not in C. sativus. This experiment together with analysis of abscisic acid-specific CRE distributions give a clue why C. sativus is much more susceptible to moderate freezing stresses than A. thaliana. Comparative analysis of all the five genomes showed that, each species and/or cultivars has a specific profile of CRE content in promoters of orthologous genes. Our results constitute the substantial and original resource for the basic and applied research on environmental adaptations of plants, which could facilitate creation of new crops with improved growth and yield in

  14. The genome sequence of the North-European cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) unravels evolutionary adaptation mechanisms in plants.

    PubMed

    Wóycicki, Rafał; Witkowicz, Justyna; Gawroński, Piotr; Dąbrowska, Joanna; Lomsadze, Alexandre; Pawełkowicz, Magdalena; Siedlecka, Ewa; Yagi, Kohei; Pląder, Wojciech; Seroczyńska, Anna; Śmiech, Mieczysław; Gutman, Wojciech; Niemirowicz-Szczytt, Katarzyna; Bartoszewski, Grzegorz; Tagashira, Norikazu; Hoshi, Yoshikazu; Borodovsky, Mark; Karpiński, Stanisław; Malepszy, Stefan; Przybecki, Zbigniew

    2011-01-01

    Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), a widely cultivated crop, has originated from Eastern Himalayas and secondary domestication regions includes highly divergent climate conditions e.g. temperate and subtropical. We wanted to uncover adaptive genome differences between the cucumber cultivars and what sort of evolutionary molecular mechanisms regulate genetic adaptation of plants to different ecosystems and organism biodiversity. Here we present the draft genome sequence of the Cucumis sativus genome of the North-European Borszczagowski cultivar (line B10) and comparative genomics studies with the known genomes of: C. sativus (Chinese cultivar--Chinese Long (line 9930)), Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus trichocarpa and Oryza sativa. Cucumber genomes show extensive chromosomal rearrangements, distinct differences in quantity of the particular genes (e.g. involved in photosynthesis, respiration, sugar metabolism, chlorophyll degradation, regulation of gene expression, photooxidative stress tolerance, higher non-optimal temperatures tolerance and ammonium ion assimilation) as well as in distributions of abscisic acid-, dehydration- and ethylene-responsive cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in promoters of orthologous group of genes, which lead to the specific adaptation features. Abscisic acid treatment of non-acclimated Arabidopsis and C. sativus seedlings induced moderate freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis but not in C. sativus. This experiment together with analysis of abscisic acid-specific CRE distributions give a clue why C. sativus is much more susceptible to moderate freezing stresses than A. thaliana. Comparative analysis of all the five genomes showed that, each species and/or cultivars has a specific profile of CRE content in promoters of orthologous genes. Our results constitute the substantial and original resource for the basic and applied research on environmental adaptations of plants, which could facilitate creation of new crops with improved growth and yield in

  15. Beyond Adapting to Climate Change: Embedding Adaptation in Responses to Multiple Threats and Stresses

    SciTech Connect

    Wilbanks, Thomas J; Kates, Dr. Robert W.

    2010-01-01

    Climate change impacts are already being experienced in every region of the United States and every part of the world most severely in Arctic regions and adaptation is needed now. Although climate change adaptation research is still in its infancy, significant adaptation planning in the United States has already begun in a number of localities. This article seeks to broaden the adaptation effort by integrating it with broader frameworks of hazards research, sustainability science, and community and regional resilience. To extend the range of experience, we draw from ongoing case studies in the Southeastern United States and the environmental history of New Orleans to consider the multiple threats and stresses that all communities and regions experience. Embedding climate adaptation in responses to multiple threats and stresses helps us to understand climate change impacts, themselves often products of multiple stresses, to achieve community acceptance of needed adaptations as co-benefits of addressing multiple threats, and to mainstream the process of climate adaptation through the larger envelope of social relationships, communication channels, and broad-based awareness of needs for risk management that accompany community resilience.

  16. Adaptation responses of crops to climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Seino, Hiroshi

    1993-12-31

    Appreciable global climatic responses to increasing levels of atmospheric CO{sub 2} and other trace gases are expected to take place over the next 50 to 80 years. Increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are producing or will produce changes in the climate of the Earth. In particular, numerous efforts of climate modeling project very substantial increase of surface air temperature. In addition to a general warming of the atmosphere, the possibility of increased summer dryness in the continental mid-latitudes has been suggested on the basis of both historical analogues and some General Circulation Model (GCM) studies. There are three types of effect of climatic change on agriculture: (1) the physiological (direct) effect of elevated levels of atmospheric CO{sub 2} on crop plants and weeds, (2) the effect of changes in parameters of climate (e.g., temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation) on plants and animals, and (3) the effects of climate-related rises in sea-level on land use. The direct effects of elevated CO{sub 2} are on photosynthesis and respiration and thereby on growth, and there are additional effects of increased CO{sub 2} on development, yield quality and stomatal aperture and water use. A doubling of CO{sub 2} increases the instantaneous photosynthetic rate by 30% to 100%, depending on the other environmental conditions, and reduce water requirements of plants by reducing transpiration (per unit leaf area) through reductions in stomatal aperture. A doubling of CO{sub 2} causes partial stomatal closure on both C{sub 3} and C{sub 4} plants (approximately a 40% decrease in aperture). In many experiments this results in reductions of transpiration of about 23% to 46%. However. there is considerable uncertainty over the magnitude of this in natural conditions.

  17. Environmental insurance adapts to changing needs

    SciTech Connect

    Vuono, M. )

    1995-03-01

    No longer simply a specialty service niche, environmental insurance has become an increasingly important asset to businesses worldwide. Companies of all sizes are using insurance as a proactive tool for prudent environmental risk management. During the last five years, the environmental insurance industry has matured to meet the ever-changing environmental insurance needs of business. A broad range of policies and programs offers coverage against damages caused by chemical spills, hazardous material and related environmental contaminants. Securing environmental insurance coverage has become as customary for many businesses as acquiring general liability and automobile insurance.

  18. Changes in adaptive capacity of Kenyan fishing communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cinner, Joshua E.; Huchery, Cindy; Hicks, Christina C.; Daw, Tim M.; Marshall, Nadine; Wamukota, Andrew; Allison, Edward H.

    2015-09-01

    Coastal communities are particularly at risk from the impacts of a changing climate. Building the capacity of coastal communities to cope with and recover from a changing environment is a critical means to reducing their vulnerability. Yet, few studies have quantitatively examined adaptive capacity in such communities. Here, we build on an emerging body of research examining adaptive capacity in natural resource-dependent communities in two important ways. We examine how nine indicators of adaptive capacity vary: among segments of Kenyan fishing communities; and over time. Socially disaggregated analyses found that the young, those who had migrated, and those who do not participate in decision-making seemed least prepared for adapting to change in these resource-dependent communities. These results highlight the most vulnerable segments of society when it comes to preparing for and adapting to change in resource-dependent communities. Comparisons through time showed that aspects of adaptive capacity seemed to have increased between 2008 and 2012 owing to higher observed community infrastructure and perceived availability of credit.

  19. Knockdown of Parhyale Ultrabithorax recapitulates evolutionary changes in crustacean appendage morphology.

    PubMed

    Liubicich, Danielle M; Serano, Julia M; Pavlopoulos, Anastasios; Kontarakis, Zacharias; Protas, Meredith E; Kwan, Elaine; Chatterjee, Sandip; Tran, Khoa D; Averof, Michalis; Patel, Nipam H

    2009-08-18

    Crustaceans possess remarkably diverse appendages, both between segments of a single individual as well as between species. Previous studies in a wide range of crustaceans have demonstrated a correlation between the anterior expression boundary of the homeotic (Hox) gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx) and the location and number of specialized thoracic feeding appendages, called maxillipeds. Given that Hox genes regulate regional identity in organisms as diverse as mice and flies, these observations in crustaceans led to the hypothesis that Ubx expression regulates the number of maxillipeds and that evolutionary changes in Ubx expression have generated various aspects of crustacean appendage diversity. Specifically, evolutionary changes in the expression boundary of Ubx have resulted in crustacean species with either 0, 1, 2, or 3 pairs of thoracic maxillipeds. Here we test this hypothesis by altering the expression of Ubx in Parhyale hawaiensis, a crustacean that normally possesses a single pair of maxillipeds. By reducing Ubx expression, we can generate Parhyale with additional maxillipeds in a pattern reminiscent of that seen in other crustacean species, and these morphological alterations are maintained as the animals molt and mature. These results provide critical evidence supporting the proposition that changes in Ubx expression have played a role in generating crustacean appendage diversity and lend general insights into the mechanisms of morphological evolution.

  20. Mechanisms of evolutionary change in structural plumage coloration among bluebirds (Sialia spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Shawkey, Matthew D; Balenger, Susan L; Hill, Geoffrey E; Johnson, L. Scott; Keyser, Amber J; Siefferman, Lynn

    2006-01-01

    Combinations of microstructural and pigmentary components of barbs create the colour displays of feathers. It follows that evolutionary changes in colour displays must reflect changes in the underlying production mechanisms, but rarely have the mechanisms of feather colour evolution been studied. Among bluebirds in the genus Sialia, male rump colour varies among species from dark blue to light blue while breast colour varies from blue to rusty. We use spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy and Fourier analysis to identify the morphology responsible for these divergent colour displays. The morphology of blue rump barbs is similar among the three species, with an outer keratin cortex layer surrounding a medullary ‘spongy layer’ and a basal row of melanin granules. A spongy layer is also present in blue breast barbs of mountain bluebirds Sialia currucoides and in rusty breast barbs of western Sialia mexicana and eastern bluebirds Sialia sialis. In blue barbs melanin is basal to the spongy layer, but is not present in the outer cortex or spongy layer, while in rusty barbs, melanin is present only in the cortex. The placement of melanin in the cortex masks expression of structural blue, creating a rusty display. Such shifts in microstructures and pigments may be widespread mechanisms for the evolutionary changes in the colours of feathers and other reflective structures across colourful organisms. PMID:16849249

  1. Design and Analysis of Schemes for Adapting Migration Intervals in Parallel Evolutionary Algorithms.

    PubMed

    Mambrini, Andrea; Sudholt, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    The migration interval is one of the fundamental parameters governing the dynamic behaviour of island models. Yet, there is little understanding on how this parameter affects performance, and how to optimally set it given a problem in hand. We propose schemes for adapting the migration interval according to whether fitness improvements have been found. As long as no improvement is found, the migration interval is increased to minimise communication. Once the best fitness has improved, the migration interval is decreased to spread new best solutions more quickly. We provide a method for obtaining upper bounds on the expected running time and the communication effort, defined as the expected number of migrants sent. Example applications of this method to common example functions show that our adaptive schemes are able to compete with, or even outperform, the optimal fixed choice of the migration interval, with regard to running time and communication effort.

  2. Optimal spectral tracking--adapting to dynamic regime change.

    PubMed

    Brittain, John-Stuart; Halliday, David M

    2011-01-30

    Real world data do not always obey the statistical restraints imposed upon them by sophisticated analysis techniques. In spectral analysis for instance, an ergodic process--the interchangeability of temporal for spatial averaging--is assumed for a repeat-trial design. Many evolutionary scenarios, such as learning and motor consolidation, do not conform to such linear behaviour and should be approached from a more flexible perspective. To this end we previously introduced the method of optimal spectral tracking (OST) in the study of trial-varying parameters. In this extension to our work we modify the OST routines to provide an adaptive implementation capable of reacting to dynamic transitions in the underlying system state. In so doing, we generalise our approach to characterise both slow-varying and rapid fluctuations in time-series, simultaneously providing a metric of system stability. The approach is first applied to a surrogate dataset and compared to both our original non-adaptive solution and spectrogram approaches. The adaptive OST is seen to display fast convergence and desirable statistical properties. All three approaches are then applied to a neurophysiological recording obtained during a study on anaesthetic monitoring. Local field potentials acquired from the posterior hypothalamic region of a deep brain stimulation patient undergoing anaesthesia were analysed. The characterisation of features such as response delay, time-to-peak and modulation brevity are considered.

  3. Are conservation organizations configured for effective adaptation to global change?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Armsworth, Paul R.; Larson, Eric R.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Sax, Dov F.; Simonin, Paul W.; Blossey, Bernd; Green, Nancy; Lester, Liza; Klein, Mary L.; Ricketts, Taylor H.; Runge, Michael C.; Shaw, M. Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Conservation organizations must adapt to respond to the ecological impacts of global change. Numerous changes to conservation actions (eg facilitated ecological transitions, managed relocations, or increased corridor development) have been recommended, but some institutional restructuring within organizations may also be needed. Here we discuss the capacity of conservation organizations to adapt to changing environmental conditions, focusing primarily on public agencies and nonprofits active in land protection and management in the US. After first reviewing how these organizations anticipate and detect impacts affecting target species and ecosystems, we then discuss whether they are sufficiently flexible to prepare and respond by reallocating funding, staff, or other resources. We raise new hypotheses about how the configuration of different organizations enables them to protect particular conservation targets and manage for particular biophysical changes that require coordinated management actions over different spatial and temporal scales. Finally, we provide a discussion resource to help conservation organizations assess their capacity to adapt.

  4. Resituation or Resistance? Higher Education Teachers' Adaptations to Technological Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westberry, Nicola; McNaughton, Susan; Billot, Jennie; Gaeta, Helen

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the findings from a project that explored teachers' adaptations to technological change in four large classes in higher education. In these classes, lecturers changed from single- to multi-lecture settings mediated by videoconferencing, requiring them to transfer their beliefs and practices into a new pedagogical space. The…

  5. Evolutionary synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Peisajovich, Sergio G

    2012-06-15

    Signaling networks process vast amounts of environmental information to generate specific cellular responses. As cellular environments change, signaling networks adapt accordingly. Here, I will discuss how the integration of synthetic biology and directed evolution approaches is shedding light on the molecular mechanisms that guide the evolution of signaling networks. In particular, I will review studies that demonstrate how different types of mutations, from the replacement of individual amino acids to the shuffling of modular domains, lead to markedly different evolutionary trajectories and consequently to diverse network rewiring. Moreover, I will argue that intrinsic evolutionary properties of signaling proteins, such as the robustness of wild type functions, the promiscuous nature of evolutionary intermediates, and the modular decoupling between binding and catalysis, play important roles in the evolution of signaling networks. Finally, I will argue that rapid advances in our ability to synthesize DNA will radically alter how we study signaling network evolution at the genome-wide level.

  6. Bergmann's Rule, Adaptation, and Thermoregulation in Arctic Animals: Conflicting Perspectives from Physiology, Evolutionary Biology, and Physical Anthropology After World War II.

    PubMed

    Hagen, Joel B

    2016-06-17

    Bergmann's rule and Allen's rule played important roles in mid-twentieth century discussions of adaptation, variation, and geographical distribution. Although inherited from the nineteenth-century natural history tradition these rules gained significance during the consolidation of the modern synthesis as evolutionary theorists focused attention on populations as units of evolution. For systematists, the rules provided a compelling rationale for identifying geographical races or subspecies, a function that was also picked up by some physical anthropologists. More generally, the rules provided strong evidence for adaptation by natural selection. Supporters of the rules tacitly, or often explicitly, assumed that the clines described by the rules reflected adaptations for thermoregulation. This assumption was challenged by the physiologists Laurence Irving and Per Scholander based on their arctic research conducted after World War II. Their critique spurred a controversy played out in a series of articles in Evolution, in Ernst Mayr's Animal Species and Evolution, and in the writings of other prominent evolutionary biologists and physical anthropologists. Considering this episode highlights the complexity and ambiguity of important biological concepts such as adaptation, homeostasis, and self-regulation. It also demonstrates how different disciplinary orientations and styles of scientific research influenced evolutionary explanations, and the consequent difficulties of constructing a truly synthetic evolutionary biology in the decades immediately following World War II.

  7. Adaptation responses to climate change differ between global megacities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgeson, Lucien; Maslin, Mark; Poessinouw, Martyn; Howard, Steve

    2016-06-01

    Urban areas are increasingly at risk from climate change, with negative impacts predicted for human health, the economy and ecosystems. These risks require responses from cities to improve their resilience. Policymakers need to understand current adaptation spend to plan comprehensively and effectively. Through the measurement of spend in the newly defined `adaptation economy', we analyse current climate change adaptation efforts in ten megacities. In all cases, the adaptation economy remains a small part of the overall economy, representing a maximum of 0.33% of a city's gross domestic product (here referred to as GDPc). Differences in total spend are significant between cities in developed, emerging and developing countries, ranging from #15 million to #1,600 million. Comparing key subsectors, we demonstrate the differences in adaptation profiles. Developing cities have higher proportional spend on health and agriculture, whereas developed cities have higher spend on energy and water. Spend per capita and percentage of GDPc comparisons more clearly show disparities between cities. Developing country cities spend half the proportion of GDPc and significantly less per capita, suggesting that adaptation spend is driven by wealth rather than the number of vulnerable people. This indicates that current adaptation activities are insufficient in major population centres in developing and emerging economies.

  8. Soft Selective Sweeps in Evolutionary Rescue

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Benjamin A.; Pennings, Pleuni S.; Petrov, Dmitri A.

    2017-01-01

    Evolutionary rescue occurs when a population that is declining in size because of an environmental change is rescued from extinction by genetic adaptation. Evolutionary rescue is an important phenomenon at the intersection of ecology and population genetics, and the study of evolutionary rescue is critical to understanding processes ranging from species conservation to the evolution of drug and pesticide resistance. While most population-genetic models of evolutionary rescue focus on estimating the probability of rescue, we focus on whether one or more adaptive lineages contribute to evolutionary rescue. We find that when evolutionary rescue is likely, it is often driven by soft selective sweeps where multiple adaptive mutations spread through the population simultaneously. We give full analytic results for the probability of evolutionary rescue and the probability that evolutionary rescue occurs via soft selective sweeps. We expect that these results will find utility in understanding the genetic signatures associated with various evolutionary rescue scenarios in large populations, such as the evolution of drug resistance in viral, bacterial, or eukaryotic pathogens. PMID:28213477

  9. Kissing as an evolutionary adaptation to protect against Human Cytomegalovirus-like teratogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hendrie, C A; Brewer, G

    2010-02-01

    Mouth to mouth sexual kissing is seen in more than 90% of human cultures. Various theories have been put forward to account for this but none offer a full explanation within an evolutionary framework. As mouth to mouth sexual kissing exposes each participant to the diseases of the other, it must confer significant benefit. Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous infection that carries a severe teratogenic risk if primary infection is acquired during certain critical periods. As HCMV is present in salivary gland epithelial cells and sheds from periodontitis induced lesions, female inoculation with a specific male's HCMV is most efficiently achieved through mouth to mouth contact and saliva exchange, particularly where the flow of saliva is from the male to the typically shorter female. The current hypothesis proposes that mouth to mouth sexual kissing enables females to control when they become infected with a particular male's HCMV and so protect their offspring from the threat of teratogenesis from primary infection during vulnerable times in their development. Females only gain this benefit if they also avoid becoming infected by other males. Hence HCMV induced teratogenesis is a strong viral pressure towards the development of monogamy as well as kissing as a behavioural strategy to protect against it.

  10. Genomes of coral dinoflagellate symbionts highlight evolutionary adaptations conducive to a symbiotic lifestyle

    PubMed Central

    Aranda, M.; Li, Y.; Liew, Y. J.; Baumgarten, S.; Simakov, O.; Wilson, M. C.; Piel, J.; Ashoor, H.; Bougouffa, S.; Bajic, V. B.; Ryu, T.; Ravasi, T.; Bayer, T.; Micklem, G.; Kim, H.; Bhak, J.; LaJeunesse, T. C.; Voolstra, C. R.

    2016-01-01

    Despite half a century of research, the biology of dinoflagellates remains enigmatic: they defy many functional and genetic traits attributed to typical eukaryotic cells. Genomic approaches to study dinoflagellates are often stymied due to their large, multi-gigabase genomes. Members of the genus Symbiodinium are photosynthetic endosymbionts of stony corals that provide the foundation of coral reef ecosystems. Their smaller genome sizes provide an opportunity to interrogate evolution and functionality of dinoflagellate genomes and endosymbiosis. We sequenced the genome of the ancestral Symbiodinium microadriaticum and compared it to the genomes of the more derived Symbiodinium minutum and Symbiodinium kawagutii and eukaryote model systems as well as transcriptomes from other dinoflagellates. Comparative analyses of genome and transcriptome protein sets show that all dinoflagellates, not only Symbiodinium, possess significantly more transmembrane transporters involved in the exchange of amino acids, lipids, and glycerol than other eukaryotes. Importantly, we find that only Symbiodinium harbor an extensive transporter repertoire associated with the provisioning of carbon and nitrogen. Analyses of these transporters show species-specific expansions, which provides a genomic basis to explain differential compatibilities to an array of hosts and environments, and highlights the putative importance of gene duplications as an evolutionary mechanism in dinoflagellates and Symbiodinium. PMID:28004835

  11. Governance of social dilemmas in climate change adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bisaro, Alexander; Hinkel, Jochen

    2016-04-01

    In the field of adaptation governance research, current discussion on the barriers to adaptation shows that theoretical explanations for why institutions emerge and how they enable or constrain adaptation are underdeveloped. In this Perspective, we show that there is a significant opportunity to advance the understanding of adaptation governance by integrating insights that have been developed in the extensive commons literature on the institutions that work to overcome social conflicts or dilemmas. 'Realist-materialist' approaches to understanding such collective action are particularly valuable to adaptation governance research because they emphasize how biophysical conditions give rise to certain types of social dilemma. Climate change affects these biophysical conditions, and thus may alter dilemmas or create new ones. Based on realist-materialist reasoning, this Perspective describes six types of dilemma, illustrates each with a case from the adaptation literature and draws on insights from the commons literature regarding relevant contextual conditions and effective policy instruments for overcoming social dilemmas. The dilemma types provide entry points for rigorous comparative adaptation research to deepen understanding of how context influences adaptation governance processes.

  12. National Hydroclimatic Change and Infrastructure Adaptation Assessment: Region-Specific Adaptation Factors

    EPA Science Inventory

    Climate change, land use and socioeconomic developments are principal variables that define the need and scope of adaptive engineering and management to sustain water resource and infrastructure development. As described in IPCC (2007), hydroclimatic changes in the next 30-50 ye...

  13. VisAdapt: A Visualization Tool to Support Climate Change Adaptation.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Jimmy; Opach, Tomasz; Glaas, Erik; Neset, Tina-Simone; Navarra, Carlo; Linner, Bjorn-Ola; Rod, Jan Ketil

    2017-01-01

    The web-based visualization VisAdapt tool was developed to help laypeople in the Nordic countries assess how anticipated climate change will impact their homes. The tool guides users through a three-step visual process that helps them explore risks and identify adaptive actions specifically modified to their location and house type. This article walks through the tool's multistep, user-centered design process. Although VisAdapt's target end users are Nordic homeowners, the insights gained from the development process and the lessons learned from the project are applicable to a wide range of domains.

  14. Adaptable habitablity, niche filling and exo-climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagai, Perets

    2015-07-01

    Planetary orbits may change due to gravitational perturbations by external bodies. Such changes can occur both on short and long timescales, and give rise to significant changes in the planetary climate and habitability. Such changes may render the climate inhabitable for any original pre-existing organisms. However, if the climate change timescale is longer than the timescale for organism genetic adaptation over several generations, the population of pre- existing organisms may evolve and adapt to the new conditions. This raises the possibility for the existence of planets in which life formed and evolved under favorable conditions, and then adapted to extreme conditions once significant climate-change occured. Such planets may therefore appear today as having too-extreme conditions as to allow for the emergence of life, even though life could have formed at ealier epoch at which time the planet climate differed. One can therefore discuss the possibility of "adaptable habitability", which relies not only on the current conditions but on the climate history and the dynamics of the planetary system. Moreover, once life emerges and evolves to the stage in which rapid adaptababilty is possible, organisms may adapt as to fill extreme environmental nches (e.g. extremophiles on Earth). Once climate-change leads to overall extreme planetary conditions, such originally extreme- niche filling organisms can prevail and occupy the main environments of the planets, where as such extreme planetary conditions, if they existed primordially, wouldn't have allowed for the emergence of life to begin with. We discuss these issues, and provide detailed planetary dynamics examples for such adaptable habitability to occur.

  15. Evolutionary Thrift: Mycobacteria Repurpose Plasmid Diversity during Adaptation of Type VII Secretion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Mortimer, Tatum D.; Weber, Alexandra M.

    2017-01-01

    Mycobacteria have a distinct secretion system, termed type VII (T7SS), which is encoded by paralogous chromosomal loci (ESX) and associated with pathogenesis, conjugation, and metal homeostasis. Evolution of paralogous gene families is of interest because duplication is an important mechanism by which novel genes evolve, but there are potential conflicts between adaptive forces that stabilize duplications and those that enable evolution of new functions. Our objective was to delineate the adaptive forces underlying diversification of T7SS. Plasmid-borne ESX were described recently, and we found evidence that the initial duplication and divergence of ESX systems occurred on plasmids and was driven by selection for advantageous mutations. Plasmid conjugation has been linked to T7SS and type IV secretion systems (T4SS) in mycobacteria, and we discovered that T7SS and T4SS genes evolved in concert on the plasmids. We hypothesize that differentiation of plasmid ESX helps to prevent conjugation among cells harboring incompatible plasmids. Plasmid ESX appear to have been repurposed following migration to the chromosome, and there is evidence of positive selection driving further differentiation of chromosomal ESX. We hypothesize that ESX loci were initially stabilized on the chromosome by mediating their own transfer. These results emphasize the diverse adaptive paths underlying evolution of novelty, which in this case involved plasmid duplications, selection for advantageous mutations in the mobile and core genomes, migration of the loci between plasmids and chromosomes, and lateral transfer among chromosomes. We discuss further implications for the choice of model organism to study ESX functions in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PMID:28391322

  16. Synthetic circuit for exact adaptation and fold-change detection.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jongmin; Khetarpal, Ishan; Sen, Shaunak; Murray, Richard M

    2014-05-01

    Biological organisms use their sensory systems to detect changes in their environment. The ability of sensory systems to adapt to static inputs allows wide dynamic range as well as sensitivity to input changes including fold-change detection, a response that depends only on fold changes in input, and not on absolute changes. This input scale invariance underlies an important strategy for search that depends solely on the spatial profile of the input. Synthetic efforts to reproduce the architecture and response of cellular circuits provide an important step to foster understanding at the molecular level. We report the bottom-up assembly of biochemical systems that show exact adaptation and fold-change detection. Using a malachite green aptamer as the output, a synthetic transcriptional circuit with the connectivity of an incoherent feed-forward loop motif exhibits pulse generation and exact adaptation. A simple mathematical model was used to assess the amplitude and duration of pulse response as well as the parameter regimes required for fold-change detection. Upon parameter tuning, this synthetic circuit exhibits fold-change detection for four successive rounds of two-fold input changes. The experimental realization of fold-change detection circuit highlights the programmability of transcriptional switches and the ability to obtain predictive dynamical systems in a cell-free environment for technological applications.

  17. Synthetic circuit for exact adaptation and fold-change detection

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jongmin; Khetarpal, Ishan; Murray, Richard M.

    2014-01-01

    Biological organisms use their sensory systems to detect changes in their environment. The ability of sensory systems to adapt to static inputs allows wide dynamic range as well as sensitivity to input changes including fold-change detection, a response that depends only on fold changes in input, and not on absolute changes. This input scale invariance underlies an important strategy for search that depends solely on the spatial profile of the input. Synthetic efforts to reproduce the architecture and response of cellular circuits provide an important step to foster understanding at the molecular level. We report the bottom-up assembly of biochemical systems that show exact adaptation and fold-change detection. Using a malachite green aptamer as the output, a synthetic transcriptional circuit with the connectivity of an incoherent feed-forward loop motif exhibits pulse generation and exact adaptation. A simple mathematical model was used to assess the amplitude and duration of pulse response as well as the parameter regimes required for fold-change detection. Upon parameter tuning, this synthetic circuit exhibits fold-change detection for four successive rounds of two-fold input changes. The experimental realization of fold-change detection circuit highlights the programmability of transcriptional switches and the ability to obtain predictive dynamical systems in a cell-free environment for technological applications. PMID:24728988

  18. Art as an Evolutionary Adaptation: Inspiration from the Visible Supernovae of AD 1054 and AD 3054

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbally, C. J.; Rappaport, M. B.

    2016-01-01

    The authors, an astronomer/priest and an anthropologist/biologist, describe their use of the dramatic arts at the INSAP VIII meeting in their performance of two short skits on the sighting of a supernova in AD 1054 (creating the beautiful Crab Nebula) and a future “Rho Cas” stellar explosion in the constellation Cassiopeia, in AD 3054. They speculate on the emergence of science, religion, and art as bona fide adaptations, responding to natural selection, which served early hominins well in their struggle for existence. They draw parallels to the continued functions of science, religion, and art in modern society.

  19. Big dams and salmon evolution: changes in thermal regimes and their potential evolutionary consequences

    PubMed Central

    Angilletta, Michael J; Ashley Steel, E; Bartz, Krista K; Kingsolver, Joel G; Scheuerell, Mark D; Beckman, Brian R; Crozier, Lisa G

    2008-01-01

    Dams designed for hydropower and other purposes alter the environments of many economically important fishes, including Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). We estimated that dams on the Rogue River, the Willamette River, the Cowlitz River, and Fall Creek decreased water temperatures during summer and increased water temperatures during fall and winter. These thermal changes undoubtedly impact the behavior, physiology, and life histories of Chinook salmon. For example, relatively high temperatures during the fall and winter should speed growth and development, leading to early emergence of fry. Evolutionary theory provides tools to predict selective pressures and genetic responses caused by this environmental warming. Here, we illustrate this point by conducting a sensitivity analysis of the fitness consequences of thermal changes caused by dams, mediated by the thermal sensitivity of embryonic development. Based on our model, we predict Chinook salmon likely suffered a decrease in mean fitness after the construction of a dam in the Rogue River. Nevertheless, these demographic impacts might have resulted in strong selection for compensatory strategies, such as delayed spawning by adults or slowed development by embryos. Because the thermal effects of dams vary throughout the year, we predict dams impacted late spawners more than early spawners. Similar analyses could shed light on the evolutionary consequences of other environmental perturbations and their interactions. PMID:25567632

  20. Evolutionary Change of the Numbers of Homeobox Genes in Bilateral Animals

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Jongmin; Nei, Masatoshi

    2006-01-01

    It has been known that the conservation or diversity of homeobox genes is responsible for the similarity and variability of some of the morphological or physiological characters among different organisms. To gain some insights into the evolutionary pattern of homeobox genes in bilateral animals, we studied the change of the numbers of these genes during the evolution of bilateral animals. We analyzed 2,031 homeodomain sequences compiled from 11 species of bilateral animals ranging from Caenorhabditis elegans to humans. Our phylogenetic analysis using a modified reconciled-tree method suggested that there were at least about 88 homeobox genes in the common ancestor of bilateral animals. About 50–60 genes of them have left at least one descendant gene in each of the 11 species studied, suggesting that about 30–40 genes were lost in a lineage-specific manner. Although similar numbers of ancestral genes have survived in each species, vertebrate lineages gained many more genes by duplication than invertebrate lineages, resulting in more than 200 homeobox genes in vertebrates and about 100 in invertebrates. After these gene duplications, a substantial number of old duplicate genes have also been lost in each lineage. Because many old duplicate genes were lost, it is likely that lost genes had already been differentiated from other groups of genes at the time of gene loss. We conclude that both gain and loss of homeobox genes were important for the evolutionary change of phenotypic characters in bilateral animals. PMID:16079247

  1. Limits to health adaptation in a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebi, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    Introduction: Because the health risks of climate variability and change are not new, it has been assumed that health systems have the capacity, experience, and tools to effectively adapt to changing burdens of climate-sensitive health outcomes with additional climate change. However, as illustrated in the Ebola crisis, health systems in many low-income countries have insufficient capacity to manage current health burdens. These countries also are those most vulnerable to climate change, including changes in food and water safety and security, increases in extreme weather and climate events, and increases in the geographic range, incidence, and seasonality of a variety of infectious diseases. The extent to which they might be able to keep pace with projected risks depends on assumptions of the sustainability of development pathways. At the same time, the magnitude and pattern of climate change will depend on greenhouse gas emission pathways. Methods: Review of the success of health adaptation projects and expert judgment assessment of the degree to which adaptation efforts will be able to keep pace with projected changes in climate variability and change. Results: Health adaptation can reduce the current and projected burdens of climate-sensitive health outcomes over the short term in many countries, but the extent to which it could do so past mid-century will depend on emission and development pathways. Under high emission scenarios, climate change will be rapid and extensive, leading to fundamental shifts in the burden of climate-sensitive health outcomes that will challenging for many countries to manage. Sustainable development pathways could delay but not eliminate associated health burdens. Conclusions: To prepare for and cope with the Anthropocene, health systems need additional adaptation policies and measures to develop more robust health systems, and need to advocate for rapid and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

  2. A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Sea level rise is causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife, including species of concern, such as the saltmarsh sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus). We present a climate change adaptation strategy (CCAS) adopted by scientific, management, and policy stakeholders for managing coastal marshes and enhancing system resiliency. A common adaptive management approach previously used for restoration projects was modified to identify climate-related vulnerabilities and plan climate change adaptive actions. As an example of implementation of the CCAS, we describe the stakeholder plans and management actions the US Fish and Wildlife Service and partners developed to build coastal resiliency in the Narrow River Estuary, RI, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. When possible, an experimental BACI (before-after, control-impact) design, described as pre- and post-sampling at the impact site and one or more control sites, was incorporated into the climate change adaptation and implementation plans. Specific climate change adaptive actions and monitoring plans are described and include shoreline stabilization, restoring marsh drainage, increasing marsh elevation, and enabling upland marsh migration. The CCAS provides a framework and methodology for successfully managing coa

  3. Adapting to Change: The Value of Change Information and Meaning-Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van den Heuvel, Machteld; Demerouti, Evangelia; Bakker, Arnold B.; Schaufeli, Wilmar B.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this 3-wave study is to examine the micro process of how employees adapt to change over time. We combined Conservation of Resources theory with insights from the organizational change literature to study employees in a Dutch police district undergoing reorganization. A model was tested where employee adaptability, operationalized by…

  4. Agricultural Adaptations to Climate Changes in West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, K.; Sultan, B.; Lobell, D. B.; Biasutti, M.; Piani, C.; Hammer, G. L.; McLean, G.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural production in West Africa is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change and a fast growing demand for food adds yet another challenge. Assessing possible adaptation strategies of crop production in West Africa under climate change is thus critical for ensuring regional food security and improving human welfare. Our previous efforts have identified as the main features of climate change in West Africa a robust increase in temperature and a complex shift in the rainfall pattern (i.e. seasonality delay and total amount change). Unaddressed, these robust climate changes would reduce regional crop production by up to 20%. In the current work, we use two well-validated crop models (APSIM and SARRA-H) to comprehensively assess different crop adaptation options under future climate scenarios. Particularly, we assess adaptations in both the choice of crop types and management strategies. The expected outcome of this study is to provide West Africa with region-specific adaptation recommendations that take into account both climate variability and climate change.

  5. Guiding Climate Change Adaptation Within Vulnerable Natural Resource Management Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardsley, Douglas K.; Sweeney, Susan M.

    2010-05-01

    Climate change has the potential to compromise the sustainability of natural resources in Mediterranean climatic systems, such that short-term reactive responses will increasingly be insufficient to ensure effective management. There is a simultaneous need for both the clear articulation of the vulnerabilities of specific management systems to climate risk, and the development of appropriate short- and long-term strategic planning responses that anticipate environmental change or allow for sustainable adaptive management in response to trends in resource condition. Governments are developing climate change adaptation policy frameworks, but without the recognition of the importance of responding strategically, regional stakeholders will struggle to manage future climate risk. In a partnership between the South Australian Government, the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board and the regional community, a range of available research approaches to support regional climate change adaptation decision-making, were applied and critically examined, including: scenario modelling; applied and participatory Geographical Information Systems modelling; environmental risk analysis; and participatory action learning. As managers apply ideas for adaptation within their own biophysical and socio-cultural contexts, there would be both successes and failures, but a learning orientation to societal change will enable improvements over time. A base-line target for regional responses to climate change is the ownership of the issue by stakeholders, which leads to an acceptance that effective actions to adapt are now both possible and vitally important. Beyond such baseline knowledge, the research suggests that there is a range of tools from the social and physical sciences available to guide adaptation decision-making.

  6. Climate Change Adaptation Science Activities at NASA Johnson Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stefanov, William L.; Lulla, Kamlesh

    2012-01-01

    The Johnson Space Center (JSC), located in the southeast metropolitan region of Houston, TX is the prime NASA center for human spaceflight operations and astronaut training, but it also houses the unique collection of returned extraterrestrial samples, including lunar samples from the Apollo missions. The Center's location adjacent to Clear Lake and the Clear Creek watershed, an estuary of Galveston Bay, puts it at direct annual risk from hurricanes, but also from a number of other climate-related hazards including drought, floods, sea level rise, heat waves, and high wind events all assigned Threat Levels of 2 or 3 in the most recent NASA Center Disaster/Risk Matrix produced by the Climate Adaptation Science Investigator Working Group. Based on prior CASI workshops at other NASA centers, it is recognized that JSC is highly vulnerable to climate-change related hazards and has a need for adaptation strategies. We will present an overview of prior CASI-related work at JSC, including publication of a climate change and adaptation informational data brochure, and a Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Risks Workshop that was held at JSC in early March 2012. Major outcomes of that workshop that form a basis for work going forward are 1) a realization that JSC is embedded in a regional environmental and social context, and that potential climate change effects and adaptation strategies will not, and should not, be constrained by the Center fence line; 2) a desire to coordinate data collection and adaptation planning activities with interested stakeholders to form a regional climate change adaptation center that could facilitate interaction with CASI; 3) recognition that there is a wide array of basic data (remotely sensed, in situ, GIS/mapping, and historical) available through JSC and other stakeholders, but this data is not yet centrally accessible for planning purposes.

  7. Adaptation services of floodplains and wetlands under transformational climate change.

    PubMed

    Colloff, Matthew; Lavorel, Sandra; Wise, Russell M; Dunlop, Michael; Overton, Ian C; Williams, Kristen J

    2016-06-01

    Adaptation services are the ecosystem processes and services that benefit people by increasing their ability to adapt to change. Benefits may accrue from existing but newly used services where ecosystems persist or from novel services supplied following ecosystem transformation. Ecosystem properties that enable persistence or transformation are important adaptation services because they support future options. The adaptation services approach can be applied to decisions on trade-offs between currently valued services and benefits from maintaining future options. For example, ecosystem functions and services of floodplains depend on river flows. In those regions of the world where climate change projections are for hotter, drier conditions, floods will be less frequent and floodplains will either persist, though with modified structure and function, or transform to terrestrial (flood-independent) ecosystems. Many currently valued ecosystem services will reduce in supply or become unavailable, but new options are provided by adaptation services. We present a case study from the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, for operationalizing the adaptation services concept for floodplains and wetlands. We found large changes in flow and flood regimes are likely under a scenario of +1.6°C by 2030, even with additional water restored to rivers under the proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan. We predict major changes to floodplain ecosystems, including contraction of riparian forests and woodlands and expansion of terrestrial, drought-tolerant vegetation communities. Examples of adaptation services under this scenario include substitution of irrigated agriculture with dryland cropping and floodplain grazing; mitigation of damage from rarer, extreme floods; and increased tourism, recreational, and cultural values derived from fewer, smaller wetlands that can be maintained with environmental flows. Management for adaptation services will require decisions on where intervention can

  8. How wasting is saving: weight loss at altitude might result from an evolutionary adaptation.

    PubMed

    Murray, Andrew J; Montgomery, Hugh E

    2014-08-01

    At extreme altitude (>5,000 - 5,500 m), sustained hypoxia threatens human function and survival, and is associated with marked involuntary weight loss (cachexia). This seems to be a coordinated response: appetite and protein synthesis are suppressed, and muscle catabolism promoted. We hypothesise that, rather than simply being pathophysiological dysregulation, this cachexia is protective. Ketone bodies, synthesised during relative starvation, protect tissues such as the brain from reduced oxygen availability by mechanisms including the reduced generation of reactive oxygen species, improved mitochondrial efficiency and activation of the ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP ) channel. Amino acids released from skeletal muscle also protect cells from hypoxia, and may interact synergistically with ketones to offer added protection. We thus propose that weight loss in hypoxia is an adaptive response: the amino acids and ketone bodies made available act not only as metabolic substrates, but as metabolic modulators, protecting cells from the hypoxic challenge.

  9. How wasting is saving: Weight loss at altitude might result from an evolutionary adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Andrew J; Montgomery, Hugh E

    2014-01-01

    At extreme altitude (>5,000 – 5,500 m), sustained hypoxia threatens human function and survival, and is associated with marked involuntary weight loss (cachexia). This seems to be a coordinated response: appetite and protein synthesis are suppressed, and muscle catabolism promoted. We hypothesise that, rather than simply being pathophysiological dysregulation, this cachexia is protective. Ketone bodies, synthesised during relative starvation, protect tissues such as the brain from reduced oxygen availability by mechanisms including the reduced generation of reactive oxygen species, improved mitochondrial efficiency and activation of the ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel. Amino acids released from skeletal muscle also protect cells from hypoxia, and may interact synergistically with ketones to offer added protection. We thus propose that weight loss in hypoxia is an adaptive response: the amino acids and ketone bodies made available act not only as metabolic substrates, but as metabolic modulators, protecting cells from the hypoxic challenge. PMID:24917038

  10. Signatures of Evolutionary Adaptation in Quantitative Trait Loci Influencing Trace Element Homeostasis in Liver

    PubMed Central

    Sabidó, Eduard; Bosch, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Essential trace elements possess vital functions at molecular, cellular, and physiological levels in health and disease, and they are tightly regulated in the human body. In order to assess variability and potential adaptive evolution of trace element homeostasis, we quantified 18 trace elements in 150 liver samples, together with the expression levels of 90 genes and abundances of 40 proteins involved in their homeostasis. Additionally, we genotyped 169 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in the same sample set. We detected significant associations for 8 protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL), 10 expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs), and 15 micronutrient quantitative trait loci (nutriQTL). Six of these exceeded the false discovery rate cutoff and were related to essential trace elements: 1) one pQTL for GPX2 (rs10133290); 2) two previously described eQTLs for HFE (rs12346) and SELO (rs4838862) expression; and 3) three nutriQTLs: The pathogenic C282Y mutation at HFE affecting iron (rs1800562), and two SNPs within several clustered metallothionein genes determining selenium concentration (rs1811322 and rs904773). Within the complete set of significant QTLs (which involved 30 SNPs and 20 gene regions), we identified 12 SNPs with extreme patterns of population differentiation (FST values in the top 5% percentile in at least one HapMap population pair) and significant evidence for selective sweeps involving QTLs at GPX1, SELENBP1, GPX3, SLC30A9, and SLC39A8. Overall, this detailed study of various molecular phenotypes illustrates the role of regulatory variants in explaining differences in trace element homeostasis among populations and in the human adaptive response to environmental pressures related to micronutrients. PMID:26582562

  11. Accelerating adaptation of natural resource management to address climate change.

    PubMed

    Cross, Molly S; McCarthy, Patrick D; Garfin, Gregg; Gori, David; Enquist, Carolyn A F

    2013-02-01

    Natural resource managers are seeking tools to help them address current and future effects of climate change. We present a model for collaborative planning aimed at identifying ways to adapt management actions to address the effects of climate change in landscapes that cross public and private jurisdictional boundaries. The Southwest Climate Change Initiative (SWCCI) piloted the Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) planning approach at workshops in 4 southwestern U.S. landscapes. This planning approach successfully increased participants' self-reported capacity to address climate change by providing them with a better understanding of potential effects and guiding the identification of solutions. The workshops fostered cross-jurisdictional and multidisciplinary dialogue on climate change through active participation of scientists and managers in assessing climate change effects, discussing the implications of those effects for determining management goals and activities, and cultivating opportunities for regional coordination on adaptation of management plans. Facilitated application of the ACT framework advanced group discussions beyond assessing effects to devising options to mitigate the effects of climate change on specific species, ecological functions, and ecosystems. Participants addressed uncertainty about future conditions by considering more than one climate-change scenario. They outlined opportunities and identified next steps for implementing several actions, and local partnerships have begun implementing actions and conducting additional planning. Continued investment in adaptation of management plans and actions to address the effects of climate change in the southwestern United States and extension of the approaches used in this project to additional landscapes are needed if biological diversity and ecosystem services are to be maintained in a rapidly changing world.

  12. Visuomotor adaptation changes stereoscopic depth perception and tactile discrimination.

    PubMed

    Volcic, Robert; Fantoni, Carlo; Caudek, Corrado; Assad, John A; Domini, Fulvio

    2013-10-23

    Perceptual judgments of relative depth from binocular disparity are systematically distorted in humans, despite in principle having access to reliable 3D information. Interestingly, these distortions vanish at a natural grasping distance, as if perceived stereo depth is contingent on a specific reference distance for depth-disparity scaling that corresponds to the length of our arm. Here we show that the brain's representation of the arm indeed powerfully modulates depth perception, and that this internal calibration can be quickly updated. We used a classic visuomotor adaptation task in which subjects execute reaching movements with the visual feedback of their reaching finger displaced farther in depth, as if they had a longer arm. After adaptation, 3D perception changed dramatically, and became accurate at the "new" natural grasping distance, the updated disparity scaling reference distance. We further tested whether the rapid adaptive changes were restricted to the visual modality or were characteristic of sensory systems in general. Remarkably, we found an improvement in tactile discrimination consistent with a magnified internal image of the arm. This suggests that the brain integrates sensory signals with information about arm length, and quickly adapts to an artificially updated body structure. These adaptive processes are most likely a relic of the mechanisms needed to optimally correct for changes in size and shape of the body during ontogenesis.

  13. The Baldwin effect and genetic assimilation: revisiting two mechanisms of evolutionary change mediated by phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Crispo, Erika

    2007-11-01

    Two different, but related, evolutionary theories pertaining to phenotypic plasticity were proposed by James Mark Baldwin and Conrad Hal Waddington. Unfortunately, these theories are often confused with one another. Baldwin's notion of organic selection posits that plasticity influences whether an individual will survive in a new environment, thus dictating the course of future evolution. Heritable variations can then be selected upon to direct phenotypic evolution (i.e., "orthoplasy"). The combination of these two processes (organic selection and orthoplasy) is now commonly referred to as the "Baldwin effect." Alternately, Waddington's genetic assimilation is a process whereby an environmentally induced phenotype, or "acquired character," becomes canalized through selection acting upon the developmental system. Genetic accommodation is a modern term used to describe the process of heritable changes that occur in response to a novel induction. Genetic accommodation is a key component of the Baldwin effect, and genetic assimilation is a type of genetic accommodation. I here define both the Baldwin effect and genetic assimilation in terms of genetic accommodation, describe cases in which either should occur in nature, and propose that each could play a role in evolutionary diversification.

  14. Cultural and climatic changes shape the evolutionary history of the Uralic languages.

    PubMed

    Honkola, T; Vesakoski, O; Korhonen, K; Lehtinen, J; Syrjänen, K; Wahlberg, N

    2013-06-01

    Quantitative phylogenetic methods have been used to study the evolutionary relationships and divergence times of biological species, and recently, these have also been applied to linguistic data to elucidate the evolutionary history of language families. In biology, the factors driving macroevolutionary processes are assumed to be either mainly biotic (the Red Queen model) or mainly abiotic (the Court Jester model) or a combination of both. The applicability of these models is assumed to depend on the temporal and spatial scale observed as biotic factors act on species divergence faster and in smaller spatial scale than the abiotic factors. Here, we used the Uralic language family to investigate whether both 'biotic' interactions (i.e. cultural interactions) and abiotic changes (i.e. climatic fluctuations) are also connected to language diversification. We estimated the times of divergence using Bayesian phylogenetics with a relaxed-clock method and related our results to climatic, historical and archaeological information. Our timing results paralleled the previous linguistic studies but suggested a later divergence of Finno-Ugric, Finnic and Saami languages. Some of the divergences co-occurred with climatic fluctuation and some with cultural interaction and migrations of populations. Thus, we suggest that both 'biotic' and abiotic factors contribute either directly or indirectly to the diversification of languages and that both models can be applied when studying language evolution.

  15. Adapting California’s ecosystems to a changing climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elizabeth Chornesky,; David Ackerly,; Paul Beier,; Frank Davis,; Flint, Lorraine E.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Moyle, Peter B.; Moritz, Max A.; Scoonover, Mary; Byrd, Kristin B.; Alvarez, Pelayo; Heller, Nicole E.; Micheli, Elisabeth; Weiss, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    Significant efforts are underway to translate improved understanding of how climate change is altering ecosystems into practical actions for sustaining ecosystem functions and benefits. We explore this transition in California, where adaptation and mitigation are advancing relatively rapidly, through four case studies that span large spatial domains and encompass diverse ecological systems, institutions, ownerships, and policies. The case studies demonstrate the context specificity of societal efforts to adapt ecosystems to climate change and involve applications of diverse scientific tools (e.g., scenario analyses, downscaled climate projections, ecological and connectivity models) tailored to specific planning and management situations (alternative energy siting, wetland management, rangeland management, open space planning). They illustrate how existing institutional and policy frameworks provide numerous opportunities to advance adaptation related to ecosystems and suggest that progress is likely to be greatest when scientific knowledge is integrated into collective planning and when supportive policies and financing enable action.

  16. Adapting environmental management to uncertain but inevitable change

    PubMed Central

    Nicol, Sam; Fuller, Richard A.; Iwamura, Takuya; Chadès, Iadine

    2015-01-01

    Implementation of adaptation actions to protect biodiversity is limited by uncertainty about the future. One reason for this is the fear of making the wrong decisions caused by the myriad future scenarios presented to decision-makers. We propose an adaptive management (AM) method for optimally managing a population under uncertain and changing habitat conditions. Our approach incorporates multiple future scenarios and continually learns the best management strategy from observations, even as conditions change. We demonstrate the performance of our AM approach by applying it to the spatial management of migratory shorebird habitats on the East Asian–Australasian flyway, predicted to be severely impacted by future sea-level rise. By accounting for non-stationary dynamics, our solution protects 25 000 more birds per year than the current best stationary approach. Our approach can be applied to many ecological systems that require efficient adaptation strategies for an uncertain future. PMID:25972463

  17. Evolutionary conflicts: rapid suppression of a male-killer.

    PubMed

    Martin, Oliver Y; Gage, Matthew J G

    2007-10-09

    Conflicts between and within species can drive fast evolutionary change. A recent study has documented remarkably rapid counter-adaptations in the wild to an extreme sex-ratio distortion caused by a bacterial symbiont.

  18. Evolutionary relationships among actinophages and a putative adaptation for growth in Streptomyces spp.

    PubMed

    Smith, Margaret C M; Hendrix, Roger W; Dedrick, Rebekah; Mitchell, Kaitlin; Ko, Ching-Chung; Russell, Daniel; Bell, Emma; Gregory, Matthew; Bibb, Maureen J; Pethick, Florence; Jacobs-Sera, Deborah; Herron, Paul; Buttner, Mark J; Hatfull, Graham F

    2013-11-01

    The genome sequences of eight Streptomyces phages are presented, four of which were isolated for this study. Phages R4, TG1, Hau3, and SV1 were isolated previously and have been exploited as tools for understanding and genetically manipulating Streptomyces spp. We also extracted five apparently intact prophages from recent Streptomyces spp. genome projects and, together with six phage genomes in the database, we analyzed all 19 Streptomyces phage genomes with a view to understanding their relationships to each other and to other actinophages, particularly the mycobacteriophages. Fifteen of the Streptomyces phages group into four clusters of related genomes. Although the R4-like phages do not share nucleotide sequence similarity with other phages, they clearly have common ancestry with cluster A mycobacteriophages, sharing many protein homologues, common gene syntenies, and similar repressor-stoperator regulatory systems. The R4-like phage Hau3 and the prophage StrepC.1 (from Streptomyces sp. strain C) appear to have hijacked a unique adaptation of the streptomycetes, i.e., use of the rare UUA codon, to control translation of the essential phage protein, the terminase. The Streptomyces venezuelae generalized transducing phage SV1 was used to predict the presence of other generalized transducing phages for different Streptomyces species.

  19. Sensitivity Differences in Fish Offer Near-Infrared Vision as an Adaptable Evolutionary Trait

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakov, Denis; Knörzer, Alexandra; Espenhahn, Svenja; Hilbig, Reinhard; Haas, Ulrich; Blum, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Near-infrared (NIR) light constitutes an integrated part of solar radiation. The principal ability to sense NIR under laboratory conditions has previously been demonstrated in fish. The availability of NIR in aquatic habitats, and thus its potential use as a cue for distinct behaviors such as orientation and detection of prey, however, depends on physical and environmental parameters. In clear water, blue and green light represents the dominating part of the illumination. In turbid waters, in contrast, the relative content of red and NIR radiation is enhanced, due to increased scattering and absorption of short and middle range wavelengths by suspended particles and dissolved colored materials. We have studied NIR detection thresholds using a phototactic swimming assay in five fish species, which are exposed to different NIR conditions in their natural habitats. Nile and Mozambique tilapia, which inhabit waters with increased turbidity, displayed the highest spectral sensitivity, with thresholds at wavelengths above 930 nm. Zebrafish, guppy and green swordtail, which prefer clearer waters, revealed significantly lower thresholds of spectral sensitivity with 825–845 nm for green swordtail and 845–910 nm for zebrafish and guppy. The present study revealed a clear correlation between NIR sensation thresholds and availability of NIR in the natural habitats, suggesting that NIR vision, as an integral part of the whole spectrum of visual abilities, can serve as an evolutionarily adaptable trait in fish. PMID:23691215

  20. Invasion Fosters Change: Independent Evolutionary Shifts in Reproductive Traits after Oxalis pes-caprae L. Introduction

    PubMed Central

    Castro, Sílvia; Castro, Mariana; Ferrero, Victoria; Costa, Joana; Tavares, Daniela; Navarro, Luis; Loureiro, João

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions offer optimal scenarios to study evolutionary changes under contemporary timescales. After long-distance dispersal, exotic species have to cope with strong mate limitation, and shifts toward uniparental reproduction have been hypothesized to be selectively advantageous. Oxalis pes-caprae is a clonal tristylous species native to South Africa, and invasive in Mediterranean regions worldwide. It reproduces sexually and asexually but the importance of each strategy differs between ranges. Native populations reproduce mostly sexually while in invasive ones asexual reproduction is the prevailing strategy due to the dominance of pentaploid monomorphic populations. Nevertheless, two contrasting scenarios have been observed after introduction: transition toward clonality, and re-acquisition of sexuality fueled by multiple introductions of compatible mates. Here, we aimed to assess evolutionary changes of reproductive traits in O. pes-caprae invasive populations and evaluate whether these traits could be related with invasion success and prevalence of certain forms in the western Mediterranean basin. Sexual and asexual reproduction traits were quantified under optimal conditions in a common garden experiment including native and invasive sexual, predominately asexual, and obligated asexual individuals. Different reproductive, ecological, and genetic constraints created by long-distance dispersal seem to have generated different selective pressures in sexual and asexual traits, with our results supporting evolutionary changes in invasive populations of O. pes-caprae. Native plants had higher sexual fitness, while a transition toward clonality was clear for invasive forms, supporting clonal reproduction as a major trait driving invasion. Differences were also observed among invasive plants, with sexual forms having increased dispersal potential; thus, they are expected to be in advantage in comparison with predominantly asexual and obligated asexual plants

  1. Evidence of maternal effects on temperature preference in side-blotched lizards: implications for evolutionary response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Paranjpe, Dhanashree A; Bastiaans, Elizabeth; Patten, Amy; Cooper, Robert D; Sinervo, Barry

    2013-07-01

    Natural populations respond to selection pressures like increasing local temperatures in many ways, including plasticity and adaptation. To predict the response of ectotherms like lizards to local temperature increase, it is essential to estimate phenotypic variation in and determine the heritability of temperature-related traits like average field body temperature (T b) and preferred temperature (T p). We measured T p of Uta stansburiana in a laboratory thermal gradient and assessed the contribution of sex, reproductive status and throat color genotype to phenotypic variation in T b of adult lizards. Females had higher T p than males. However, they temporarily preferred lower temperature when gravid than when nongravid. Using a nested half-sib design for genetic crosses in the laboratory, we estimated relative contributions of additive genetic variation and maternal effects to T p of hatchlings. Our results show that maternal effects, but not additive genetic variation, influence T p of hatchlings in U. stansburiana. Maternal T p and the presence or absence of blue throat color alleles significantly influenced T p of hatchlings. We discuss ecological and evolutionary consequences of these maternal effects in the context of rapid climate change and natural selection that we measure on progeny survival to maturity as a function of maternal T p.

  2. Climate change adaptation through urban heat management in Atlanta, Georgia.

    PubMed

    Stone, Brian; Vargo, Jason; Liu, Peng; Hu, Yongtao; Russell, Armistead

    2013-07-16

    This study explores the potential effectiveness of metropolitan land cover change as a climate change adaptation strategy for managing rising temperatures in a large and rapidly warming metropolitan region of the United States. Through the integration of a mesoscale meteorological model with estimated land cover data for the Atlanta, Georgia region in 2010, this study quantifies the influence of extensive land cover change at the periphery of a large metropolitan region on temperature within the city center. The first study to directly model a metropolitan scale heat transfer mechanism, we find both enhanced tree canopy and impervious cover in the suburban zones of the Atlanta region to produce statistically significant cooling and warming effects in the urban core. Based on these findings, we conclude that urban heat island management both within and beyond the central developed core of large cities may provide an effective climate change adaptation strategy for large metropolitan regions.

  3. Decisions from Experience: How Groups and Individuals Adapt to Change

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-01-01

    Experience: How Groups and Individuals Adapt to Change Every morning, Ferran Adrià receives fresh products from his suppliers on Spain‘s Costa Brava. High...involved in this decision? Perhaps. Only a few kilometers from El Bulli, Joan , Josep, and Jordi Roca manage El Celler de Can Roca, currently

  4. Adapting the Transtheoretical Model of Change to the Bereavement Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calderwood, Kimberly A.

    2011-01-01

    Theorists currently believe that bereaved people undergo some transformation of self rather than returning to their original state. To advance our understanding of this process, this article presents an adaptation of Prochaska and DiClemente's transtheoretical model of change as it could be applied to the journey that bereaved individuals…

  5. IMPACTS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTION ON SUSTAINABILITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation presents the potential impacts that global climate change may have on the quality and quantity of water available to drinking water and wastewater treatment systems and the adaptations these systems might have to employ in order to remain in regulatory complianc...

  6. Complete genome of the cellulolytic thermophile Acidothermus cellulolyticus 11B provides insights into its ecophysiological and evolutionary adaptations

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Gary; Detter, Chris; Bruce, David; Challacome, Jean F; Brettin, Thomas S; Barabote, Ravi D; Leu, David; Normand, Philippe; Necsula, Anamaria; Daubin, Vincent; Medigue, Claudine; Xu, Xin C; Lapidus, Alla; Pujic, Pierre; Richardson, Paul; Berry, Alison M

    2008-01-01

    We present here the complete 2.4 MB genome of the actinobacterial thermophile, Acidothermus cellulolyticus lIB, that surprisingly reveals thermophilic amino acid usage in only the cytosolic subproteome rather than its whole proteome. Thermophilic amino acid usage in the partial proteome implies a recent, ongoing evolution of the A. cellulolyticus genome since its divergence about 200-250 million years ago from its closest phylogenetic neighbor Frankia, a mesophilic plant symbiont. Differential amino acid usage in the predicted subproteomes of A. cellulolyticus likely reflects a stepwise evolutionary process of modern thermophiles in general. An unusual occurrence of higher G+C in the non-coding DNA than in the transcribed genome reinforces a late evolution from a higher G+C common ancestor. Comparative analyses of the A. cellulolyticus genome with those of Frankia and other closely-related actinobacteria revealed that A. cellulolyticus genes exhibit reciprocal purine preferences at the first and third codon positions, perhaps reflecting a subtle preference for the dinucleotide AG in its mRNAs, a possible adaptation to a thermophilic environment. Other interesting features in the genome of this cellulolytic, hot-springs dwelling prokaryote reveal streamlining for adaptation to its specialized ecological niche. These include a low occurrence of pseudogenes or mobile genetic elements, a flagellar gene complement previously unknown in this organism, and presence of laterally-acquired genomic islands of likely ecophysiological value. New glycoside hydrolases relevant for lignocellulosic biomass deconstruction were identified in the genome, indicating a diverse biomass-degrading enzyme repertoire several-fold greater than previously characterized, and significantly elevating the industrial value of this organism.

  7. Complete genome of the cellulolytic thermophile Acidothermus cellulolyticus 11B provides insights into its ecophysiological and evolutionary adaptations

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Gary; Detter, John C; Bruce, David C; Challacombe, Jean F; Brettin, Thomas S; Necsulea, Anamaria; Daubin, Vincent; Medigue, Claudine; Adney, William S; Xu, Xin C; Lapidus, Alla; Pujic, Pierre; Berry, Alison M; Barabote, Ravi D; Leu, David; Normand, Phillipe

    2009-01-01

    We present here the complete 2.4 MB genome of the actinobacterial thermophile, Acidothermus cellulolyticus 11B, that surprisingly reveals thermophilic amino acid usage in only the cytosolic subproteome rather than its whole proteome. Thermophilic amino acid usage in the partial proteome implies a recent, ongoing evolution of the A. cellulolyticus genome since its divergence about 200-250 million years ago from its closest phylogenetic neighbor Frankia, a mesophilic plant symbiont. Differential amino acid usage in the predicted subproteomes of A. cellulolyticus likely reflects a stepwise evolutionary process of modern thermophiles in general. An unusual occurrence of higher G+C in the non-coding DNA than in the transcribed genome reinforces a late evolution from a higher G+C common ancestor. Comparative analyses of the A. cellulolyticus genome with those of Frankia and other closely-related actinobacteria revealed that A. cellulolyticus genes exhibit reciprocal purine preferences at the first and third codon positions, perhaps reflecting a subtle preference for the dinucleotide AG in its mRNAs, a possible adaptation to a thermophilic environment. Other interesting features in the genome of this cellulolytic, hot-springs dwelling prokaryote reveal streamlining for adaptation to its specialized ecological niche. These include a low occurrence of pseudo genes or mobile genetic elements, a flagellar gene complement previously unknown in this organism, and presence of laterally-acquired genomic islands of likely ecophysiological value. New glycoside hydrolases relevant for lignocellulosic biomass deconstruction were identified in the genome, indicating a diverse biomass-degrading enzyme repertoire several-fold greater than previously characterized, and significantly elevating the industrial value of this organism.

  8. Some guidelines for helping natural resources adapt to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.; Julius, Susan Herrod; West, Jordan M.; Joyce, Linda A.; Blate, Geoffrey; Peterson, Charles H.; Palmer, Margaret; Keller, Brian D.; Kareiva, Peter; Scott, J. Michael; Griffith, Brad

    2008-01-01

    The changes occurring in mountain regions are an epitome of climate change. The dramatic shrinkage of major glaciers over the past century – and especially in the last 30 years – is one of several iconic images that have come to symbolize climate change. Climate creates the context for ecosystems, and climate variables strongly influence the structure, composition, and processes that characterize distinct ecosystems. Climate change, therefore, is having direct and indirect effects on species attributes, ecological interactions, and ecosystem processes. Because changes in the climate system will continue regardless of emissions mitigation, management strategies to enhance the resilience of ecosystems will become increasingly important. It is essential that management responses to climate change proceed using the best available science despite uncertainties associated with the future path of climate change, the response of ecosystems to climate effects, and the effects of management. Given these uncertainties, management adaptation will require flexibility to reflect our growing understanding of climate change impacts and management effectiveness.

  9. Evolutionary adaptation of an AraC-like regulatory protein in Citrobacter rodentium and Escherichia species.

    PubMed

    Tan, Aimee; Petty, Nicola K; Hocking, Dianna; Bennett-Wood, Vicki; Wakefield, Matthew; Praszkier, Judyta; Tauschek, Marija; Yang, Ji; Robins-Browne, Roy

    2015-04-01

    The evolution of pathogenic bacteria is a multifaceted and complex process, which is strongly influenced by the horizontal acquisition of genetic elements and their subsequent expression in their new hosts. A well-studied example is the RegA regulon of the enteric pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. The RegA regulatory protein is a member of the AraC/XylS superfamily, which coordinates the expression of a gene repertoire that is necessary for full pathogenicity of this murine pathogen. Upon stimulation by an exogenous, gut-associated signal, namely, bicarbonate ions, RegA activates the expression of a series of genes, including virulence factors, such as autotransporters, fimbriae, a dispersin-like protein, and the grlRA operon on the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island. Interestingly, the genes encoding RegA homologues are distributed across the genus Escherichia, encompassing pathogenic and nonpathogenic subtypes. In this study, we carried out a series of bioinformatic, transcriptional, and functional analyses of the RegA regulons of these bacteria. Our results demonstrated that regA has been horizontally transferred to Escherichia spp. and C. rodentium. Comparative studies of two RegA homologues, namely, those from C. rodentium and E. coli SMS-3-5, a multiresistant environmental strain of E. coli, showed that the two regulators acted similarly in vitro but differed in terms of their abilities to activate the virulence of C. rodentium in vivo, which evidently was due to their differential activation of grlRA. Our data indicate that RegA from C. rodentium has strain-specific adaptations that facilitate infection of its murine host. These findings shed new light on the development of virulence by C. rodentium and on the evolution of virulence-regulatory genes of bacterial pathogens in general.

  10. Macroevolutionary patterns of defense and pollination in Dalechampia vines: Adaptation, exaptation, and evolutionary novelty

    PubMed Central

    Armbruster, W. Scott; Lee, Joongku; Baldwin, Bruce G.

    2009-01-01

    We conducted phylogenetically informed comparative analyses of 81 taxa of Dalechampia (Euphorbiaceae) vines and shrubs to assess the roles of historical contingency and trait interaction in the evolution of plant-defense and pollinator-attraction systems. We asked whether defenses can originate by exaptation from preexisting pollinator attractants, or vice versa, whether plant defenses show escalation, and if so, whether by enhancing one line of defense or by adding new lines of defense. Two major patterns emerged: (i) correlated evolution of several complementary lines of defense of flowers, seeds, and leaves, and (ii) 5 to 6 losses of the resin reward, followed by redeployment of resin for defense of male flowers in 3 to 4 lineages, apparently in response to herbivore-mediated selection for defense of staminate flowers upon relaxation of pollinator-mediated selection on resin. In all cases, redeployment of resin involved reversion to the inferred ancestral arrangement of flowers and resiniferous bractlets. Triterpene resin has also been deployed for defense of leaves and developing seeds. Other unique defenses against florivores include nocturnal closure of large involucral bracts around receptive flowers and permanent closure around developing fruits (until opening again upon dehiscence). Escalation in one major clade occurred through an early dramatic increase in the number of lines of defense and in the other major clade by more limited increases throughout the group's evolution. We conclude that preaptations played important roles in the evolution of unique defense and attraction systems, and that the evolution of interactions with herbivores can be influenced by adaptations for pollination, and vice versa. PMID:19841278

  11. Macroevolutionary patterns of defense and pollination in Dalechampia vines: adaptation, exaptation, and evolutionary novelty.

    PubMed

    Armbruster, W Scott; Lee, Joongku; Baldwin, Bruce G

    2009-10-27

    We conducted phylogenetically informed comparative analyses of 81 taxa of Dalechampia (Euphorbiaceae) vines and shrubs to assess the roles of historical contingency and trait interaction in the evolution of plant-defense and pollinator-attraction systems. We asked whether defenses can originate by exaptation from preexisting pollinator attractants, or vice versa, whether plant defenses show escalation, and if so, whether by enhancing one line of defense or by adding new lines of defense. Two major patterns emerged: (i) correlated evolution of several complementary lines of defense of flowers, seeds, and leaves, and (ii) 5 to 6 losses of the resin reward, followed by redeployment of resin for defense of male flowers in 3 to 4 lineages, apparently in response to herbivore-mediated selection for defense of staminate flowers upon relaxation of pollinator-mediated selection on resin. In all cases, redeployment of resin involved reversion to the inferred ancestral arrangement of flowers and resiniferous bractlets. Triterpene resin has also been deployed for defense of leaves and developing seeds. Other unique defenses against florivores include nocturnal closure of large involucral bracts around receptive flowers and permanent closure around developing fruits (until opening again upon dehiscence). Escalation in one major clade occurred through an early dramatic increase in the number of lines of defense and in the other major clade by more limited increases throughout the group's evolution. We conclude that preaptations played important roles in the evolution of unique defense and attraction systems, and that the evolution of interactions with herbivores can be influenced by adaptations for pollination, and vice versa.

  12. Evolutionary Adaptation of an AraC-Like Regulatory Protein in Citrobacter rodentium and Escherichia Species

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Aimee; Petty, Nicola K.; Hocking, Dianna; Bennett-Wood, Vicki; Wakefield, Matthew; Praszkier, Judyta; Tauschek, Marija; Yang, Ji

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of pathogenic bacteria is a multifaceted and complex process, which is strongly influenced by the horizontal acquisition of genetic elements and their subsequent expression in their new hosts. A well-studied example is the RegA regulon of the enteric pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. The RegA regulatory protein is a member of the AraC/XylS superfamily, which coordinates the expression of a gene repertoire that is necessary for full pathogenicity of this murine pathogen. Upon stimulation by an exogenous, gut-associated signal, namely, bicarbonate ions, RegA activates the expression of a series of genes, including virulence factors, such as autotransporters, fimbriae, a dispersin-like protein, and the grlRA operon on the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island. Interestingly, the genes encoding RegA homologues are distributed across the genus Escherichia, encompassing pathogenic and nonpathogenic subtypes. In this study, we carried out a series of bioinformatic, transcriptional, and functional analyses of the RegA regulons of these bacteria. Our results demonstrated that regA has been horizontally transferred to Escherichia spp. and C. rodentium. Comparative studies of two RegA homologues, namely, those from C. rodentium and E. coli SMS-3-5, a multiresistant environmental strain of E. coli, showed that the two regulators acted similarly in vitro but differed in terms of their abilities to activate the virulence of C. rodentium in vivo, which evidently was due to their differential activation of grlRA. Our data indicate that RegA from C. rodentium has strain-specific adaptations that facilitate infection of its murine host. These findings shed new light on the development of virulence by C. rodentium and on the evolution of virulence-regulatory genes of bacterial pathogens in general. PMID:25624355

  13. Evolutionary origin of the Scombridae (tunas and mackerels): members of a paleogene adaptive radiation with 14 other pelagic fish families.

    PubMed

    Miya, Masaki; Friedman, Matt; Satoh, Takashi P; Takeshima, Hirohiko; Sado, Tetsuya; Iwasaki, Wataru; Yamanoue, Yusuke; Nakatani, Masanori; Mabuchi, Kohji; Inoue, Jun G; Poulsen, Jan Yde; Fukunaga, Tsukasa; Sato, Yukuto; Nishida, Mutsumi

    2013-01-01

    Uncertainties surrounding the evolutionary origin of the epipelagic fish family Scombridae (tunas and mackerels) are symptomatic of the difficulties in resolving suprafamilial relationships within Percomorpha, a hyperdiverse teleost radiation that contains approximately 17,000 species placed in 13 ill-defined orders and 269 families. Here we find that scombrids share a common ancestry with 14 families based on (i) bioinformatic analyses using partial mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences from all percomorphs deposited in GenBank (10,733 sequences) and (ii) subsequent mitogenomic analysis based on 57 species from those targeted 15 families and 67 outgroup taxa. Morphological heterogeneity among these 15 families is so extraordinary that they have been placed in six different perciform suborders. However, members of the 15 families are either coastal or oceanic pelagic in their ecology with diverse modes of life, suggesting that they represent a previously undetected adaptive radiation in the pelagic realm. Time-calibrated phylogenies imply that scombrids originated from a deep-ocean ancestor and began to radiate after the end-Cretaceous when large predatory epipelagic fishes were selective victims of the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. We name this clade of open-ocean fishes containing Scombridae "Pelagia" in reference to the common habitat preference that links the 15 families.

  14. Evolutionary Origin of the Scombridae (Tunas and Mackerels): Members of a Paleogene Adaptive Radiation with 14 Other Pelagic Fish Families

    PubMed Central

    Miya, Masaki; Friedman, Matt; Satoh, Takashi P.; Takeshima, Hirohiko; Sado, Tetsuya; Iwasaki, Wataru; Yamanoue, Yusuke; Nakatani, Masanori; Mabuchi, Kohji; Inoue, Jun G.; Poulsen, Jan Yde; Fukunaga, Tsukasa; Sato, Yukuto; Nishida, Mutsumi

    2013-01-01

    Uncertainties surrounding the evolutionary origin of the epipelagic fish family Scombridae (tunas and mackerels) are symptomatic of the difficulties in resolving suprafamilial relationships within Percomorpha, a hyperdiverse teleost radiation that contains approximately 17,000 species placed in 13 ill-defined orders and 269 families. Here we find that scombrids share a common ancestry with 14 families based on (i) bioinformatic analyses using partial mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences from all percomorphs deposited in GenBank (10,733 sequences) and (ii) subsequent mitogenomic analysis based on 57 species from those targeted 15 families and 67 outgroup taxa. Morphological heterogeneity among these 15 families is so extraordinary that they have been placed in six different perciform suborders. However, members of the 15 families are either coastal or oceanic pelagic in their ecology with diverse modes of life, suggesting that they represent a previously undetected adaptive radiation in the pelagic realm. Time-calibrated phylogenies imply that scombrids originated from a deep-ocean ancestor and began to radiate after the end-Cretaceous when large predatory epipelagic fishes were selective victims of the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. We name this clade of open-ocean fishes containing Scombridae “Pelagia” in reference to the common habitat preference that links the 15 families. PMID:24023883

  15. Silencing urease: a key evolutionary step that facilitated the adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the flea-borne transmission route.

    PubMed

    Chouikha, Iman; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2014-12-30

    The arthropod-borne transmission route of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial agent of plague, is a recent evolutionary adaptation. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, the closely related food-and water-borne enteric species from which Y. pestis diverged less than 6,400 y ago, exhibits significant oral toxicity to the flea vectors of plague, whereas Y. pestis does not. In this study, we identify the Yersinia urease enzyme as the responsible oral toxin. All Y. pestis strains, including those phylogenetically closest to the Y. pseudotuberculosis progenitor, contain a mutated ureD allele that eliminated urease activity. Restoration of a functional ureD was sufficient to make Y. pestis orally toxic to fleas. Conversely, deletion of the urease operon in Y. pseudotuberculosis rendered it nontoxic. Enzymatic activity was required for toxicity. Because urease-related mortality eliminates 30-40% of infective flea vectors, ureD mutation early in the evolution of Y. pestis was likely subject to strong positive selection because it significantly increased transmission potential.

  16. Climate change impacts and adaptive strategies: lessons from the grapevine.

    PubMed

    Mosedale, Jonathan R; Abernethy, Kirsten E; Smart, Richard E; Wilson, Robert J; Maclean, Ilya M D

    2016-11-01

    The cultivation of grapevines for winemaking, known as viticulture, is widely cited as a climate-sensitive agricultural system that has been used as an indicator of both historic and contemporary climate change. Numerous studies have questioned the viability of major viticulture regions under future climate projections. We review the methods used to study the impacts of climate change on viticulture in the light of what is known about the effects of climate and weather on the yields and quality of vineyard harvests. Many potential impacts of climate change on viticulture, particularly those associated with a change in climate variability or seasonal weather patterns, are rarely captured. Key biophysical characteristics of viticulture are often unaccounted for, including the variability of grapevine phenology and the exploitation of microclimatic niches that permit successful cultivation under suboptimal macroclimatic conditions. We consider how these same biophysical characteristics permit a variety of strategies by which viticulture can adapt to changing climatic conditions. The ability to realize these strategies, however, is affected by uneven exposure to risks across the winemaking sector, and the evolving capacity for decision-making within and across organizational boundaries. The role grape provenance plays in shaping perceptions of wine value and quality illustrates how conflicts of interest influence decisions about adaptive strategies within the industry. We conclude by considering what lessons can be taken from viticulture for studies of climate change impacts and the capacity for adaptation in other agricultural and natural systems.

  17. Development of Climate Change Adaptation Platform using Spatial Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J.; Oh, K. Y.; Lee, M. J.; Han, W. J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change adaptation has attracted growing attention with the recent extreme weather conditions that affect people around the world. More and more countries, including the Republic of Korea, have begun to hatch adaptation plan to resolve these matters of great concern. They all, meanwhile, have mentioned that it should come first to integrate climate information in all analysed areas. That's because climate information is not independently made through one source; that is to say, the climate information is connected one another in a complicated way. That is the reason why we have to promote integrated climate change adaptation platform before setting up climate change adaptation plan. Therefore, the large-scaled project has been actively launched and worked on. To date, we researched 620 literatures and interviewed 51 government organizations. Based on the results of the researches and interviews, we obtained 2,725 impacts about vulnerability assessment information such as Monitoring and Forecasting, Health, Disaster, Agriculture, Forest, Water Management, Ecosystem, Ocean/Fisheries, Industry/Energy. Among 2,725 impacts, 995 impacts are made into a database until now. This database is made up 3 sub categories like Climate-Exposure, Sensitivity, Adaptive capacity, presented by IPCC. Based on the constructed database, vulnerability assessments were carried out in order to evaluate climate change capacity of local governments all over the country. These assessments were conducted by using web-based vulnerability assessment tool which was newly developed through this project. These results have shown that, metropolitan areas like Seoul, Pusan, Inchon, and so on have high risks more than twice than rural areas. Acknowledgements: The authors appreciate the support that this study has received from "Development of integrated model for climate change impact and vulnerability assessment and strengthening the framework for model implementation ", an initiative of the

  18. HyCAW: Hydrological Climate change Adaptation Wizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagli, Stefano; Mazzoli, Paolo; Broccoli, Davide; Luzzi, Valerio

    2016-04-01

    Changes in temporal and total water availability due to hydrologic and climate change requires an efficient use of resources through the selection of the best adaptation options. HyCAW provides a novel service to users willing or needing to adapt to hydrological change, by turning available scientific information into a user friendly online wizard that lets to: • Evaluate the monthly reduction of water availability induced by climate change; • Select the best adaptation options and visualize the benefits in terms of water balance and cost reduction; • Quantify potential of water saving by improving of water use efficiency. The tool entails knowledge of the intra-annual distribution of available surface and groundwater flows at a site under present and future (climate change) scenarios. This information is extracted from long term scenario simulation by E-HYPE (European hydrological predictions for the environment) model from Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, to quantify the expected evolution in water availability (e.g. percent reduction of soil infiltration and aquifer recharge; relative seasonal shift of runoff from summer to winter in mountain areas; etc.). Users are requested to provide in input their actual water supply on a monthly basis, both from surface and groundwater sources. Appropriate decision trees and an embedded precompiled database of Water saving technology for different sectors (household, agriculture, industrial, tourisms) lead them to interactively identify good practices for water saving/recycling/harvesting that they may implement in their specific context. Thanks to this service, users are not required to have a detailed understanding neither of data nor of hydrological processes, but may benefit of scientific analysis directly for practical adaptation in a simple and user friendly way, effectively improving their adaptation capacity. The tool is being developed under a collaborative FP7 funded project called SWITCH

  19. Climate Change Adaptation Among Tibetan Pastoralists: Challenges in Enhancing Local Adaptation Through Policy Support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Yao; Grumbine, R. Edward; Wilkes, Andreas; Wang, Yun; Xu, Jian-Chu; Yang, Yong-Ping

    2012-10-01

    While researchers are aware that a mix of Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK), community-based resource management institutions, and higher-level institutions and policies can facilitate pastoralists' adaptation to climate change, policy makers have been slow to understand these linkages. Two critical issues are to what extent these factors play a role, and how to enhance local adaptation through government support. We investigated these issues through a case study of two pastoral communities on the Tibetan Plateau in China employing an analytical framework to understand local climate adaptation processes. We concluded that LEK and community-based institutions improve adaptation outcomes for Tibetan pastoralists through shaping and mobilizing resource availability to reduce risks. Higher-level institutions and policies contribute by providing resources from outside communities. There are dynamic interrelationships among these factors that can lead to support, conflict, and fragmentation. Government policy could enhance local adaptation through improvement of supportive relationships among these factors. While central government policies allow only limited room for overt integration of local knowledge/institutions, local governments often have some flexibility to buffer conflicts. In addition, government policies to support market-based economic development have greatly benefited adaptation outcomes for pastoralists. Overall, in China, there are still questions over how to create innovative institutions that blend LEK and community-based institutions with government policy making.

  20. Climate change adaptation among Tibetan pastoralists: challenges in enhancing local adaptation through policy support.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yao; Grumbine, R Edward; Wilkes, Andreas; Wang, Yun; Xu, Jian-Chu; Yang, Yong-Ping

    2012-10-01

    While researchers are aware that a mix of Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK), community-based resource management institutions, and higher-level institutions and policies can facilitate pastoralists' adaptation to climate change, policy makers have been slow to understand these linkages. Two critical issues are to what extent these factors play a role, and how to enhance local adaptation through government support. We investigated these issues through a case study of two pastoral communities on the Tibetan Plateau in China employing an analytical framework to understand local climate adaptation processes. We concluded that LEK and community-based institutions improve adaptation outcomes for Tibetan pastoralists through shaping and mobilizing resource availability to reduce risks. Higher-level institutions and policies contribute by providing resources from outside communities. There are dynamic interrelationships among these factors that can lead to support, conflict, and fragmentation. Government policy could enhance local adaptation through improvement of supportive relationships among these factors. While central government policies allow only limited room for overt integration of local knowledge/institutions, local governments often have some flexibility to buffer conflicts. In addition, government policies to support market-based economic development have greatly benefited adaptation outcomes for pastoralists. Overall, in China, there are still questions over how to create innovative institutions that blend LEK and community-based institutions with government policy making.

  1. Evolutionary History of Chordate PAX Genes: Dynamics of Change in a Complex Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Paixão-Côrtes, Vanessa Rodrigues; Salzano, Francisco Mauro; Bortolini, Maria Cátira

    2013-01-01

    Paired box (PAX) genes are transcription factors that play important roles in embryonic development. Although the PAX gene family occurs in animals only, it is widely distributed. Among the vertebrates, its 9 genes appear to be the product of complete duplication of an original set of 4 genes, followed by an additional partial duplication. Although some studies of PAX genes have been conducted, no comprehensive survey of these genes across the entire taxonomic unit has yet been attempted. In this study, we conducted a detailed comparison of PAX sequences from 188 chordates, which revealed restricted variation. The absence of PAX4 and PAX8 among some species of reptiles and birds was notable; however, all 9 genes were present in all 74 mammalian genomes investigated. A search for signatures of selection indicated that all genes are subject to purifying selection, with a possible constraint relaxation in PAX4, PAX7, and PAX8. This result indicates asymmetric evolution of PAX family genes, which can be associated with the emergence of adaptive novelties in the chordate evolutionary trajectory. PMID:24023886

  2. Change of ruminal sodium transport in sheep during dietary adaptation.

    PubMed

    Etschmann, Benjamin; Suplie, Annabelle; Martens, Holger

    2009-02-01

    Rumen adaptation plays an important role in the productive cycle of dairy cattle. In this study, the time course of functional rumen epithelium adaptation after a change from hay feeding (ad libitum) to a mixed hay/concentrate diet was monitored by measuring Na+ transport rates in Ussing chamber experiments. A total of 18 sheep were subjected to different periods of mixed hay/concentrate feeding ranging from 0 weeks (control; hay ad libitum) to 12 weeks (800 g hay plus 800 g concentrate per day in two equal portions). For each animal, the net absorption of sodium was measured following the mixed hay/concentrate feeding period. Net Na transport, Jnet, significantly rose from 2.15 +/- 0.43 (control) to 3.73 +/- 1.02 microeq x cm(-2) x h(-1) after one week of mixed hay/ concentrate diet, reached peak levels of 4.55 +/- 0.50 microEq x cm(-2) x h(-1) after four weeks and levelled out at 3.92 +/- 0.36 microeq x cm(-2) x h(-1) after 12 weeks of mixed feeding. Thus, 73% of functional adaptation occurred during the first week after diet change. This is in apparent contrast to findings that morphological adaptation takes approximately six weeks to reach peak levels. Hence, early functional adaptation to a mixed hay/concentrate diet is characterised by enhanced Na absorption rates per epithelial cell. Absorption rates are likely to be further enhanced by proliferative effects on the rumen epithelium (number and size of papillae) when concentrate diets are fed over longer periods of time. Early functional adaptation without surface area enlargement of the rumen epithelium appears to be the first step in coping with altered fermentation rates following diet change.

  3. How Magnetotactic Bacteria Respond to Radiation Induced Stress and Damage: Comparative Genomics Evidences for Evolutionary Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.; Pan, Y.

    2015-12-01

    A mediated umuCD genes and double copied ssb gene, these low fidelity DNA polymerase along with Ssb protein may endow MTB high adaptive mutation under stress condition; 4) also, magnetosome crystals (magnetite or greigite) can reduce radiation oxidative damage and protect MTB.

  4. Adaptive thermoregulation in endotherms may alter responses to climate change.

    PubMed

    Boyles, Justin G; Seebacher, Frank; Smit, Ben; McKechnie, Andrew E

    2011-11-01

    Climate change is one of the major issues facing natural populations and thus a focus of recent research has been to predict the responses of organisms to these changes. Models are becoming more complex and now commonly include physiological traits of the organisms of interest. However, endothermic species have received less attention than have ectotherms in these mechanistic models. Further, it is not clear whether responses of endotherms to climate change are modified by variation in thermoregulatory characteristics associated with phenotypic plasticity and/or adaptation to past selective pressures. Here, we review the empirical data on thermal adaptation and acclimatization in endotherms and discuss how those factors may be important in models of responses to climate change. We begin with a discussion of why thermoregulation and thermal sensitivity at high body temperatures should be co-adapted. Importantly, we show that there is, in fact, considerable variation in the ability of endotherms to tolerate high body temperatures and/or high environmental temperatures, but a better understanding of this variation will likely be critical for predicting responses to future climatic scenarios. Next, we discuss why variation in thermoregulatory characteristics should be considered when modeling the effects of climate change on heterothermic endotherms. Finally, we review some biophysical and biochemical factors that will limit adaptation and acclimation in endotherms. We consider both long-term, directional climate change and short-term (but increasingly common) anomalies in climate such as extreme heat waves and we suggest areas of important future research relating to both our basic understanding of endothermic thermoregulation and the responses of endotherms to climate change.

  5. The Secret Lives of Cepheids: Evolutionary Changes as Found from Historic and Modern Observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engle, S. G.; Guinan, E. F.; Kim, C.-W.

    2004-12-01

    We report on the results of an ongoing study of the light and radial velocity observations of bright classical cepheids over time. The older photometry and spectroscopy are combined with recent observations to determine possible changes in the pulsation period, mean brightness, and light and radial velocity amplitudes with time. In many cases over 100 yrs. years of observations have been collected and analyzed in a uniform way. The cepheids selected for the initial study are those that are already known to have significant period changes. The program stars include SV Vul, Polaris (alpha UMi), SZ Tau, S Vul, and X Cyg as well as several other stars. For example, Polaris has undergone a decrease in its light and radial velocity amplitudes during the last century as well as showing an increase in its pulsation period of dP/dt = +3.2 sec/yr. Studies of 19th and 20th century photometry also indicate that Polaris has increased in brightness from about mv = +2.2 mag to +2.0 mag over the last 150 yrs. Another interesting star in the program is the (P = 45d) classical cepheid SV Vul, which has been found to have a very rapid decrease of its pulsation period of dP/dt = -214 sec/yr. (e.g. see Turner and Berdnikov 2004; A&A 423,335). Photometric studies over the last 100 yrs (including our uvby photometry made in 2004) show that the light amplitude of SV Vul undergoes large changes. For example, the (yellow) light amplitude of SV Vul varies from about 0.8-1.2 mag (visual) between 1910-2004. A study of the changes of the light and radial velocity curves as well as the pulsation periods for these stars provide important clues on what may be discernable evolutionary changes for classical cepheids. The period changes are especially sensitive to variations in the internal structure of the stars from evolutionary effects. The results for these and other stars will be discussed. This research is supported by NSF/RUI (AST00-71260) to Villanova University that we gratefully acknowledge.

  6. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    PubMed

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  7. Online participation in climate change adaptation: A case study of agricultural adaptation measures in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Bojovic, Dragana; Bonzanigo, Laura; Giupponi, Carlo; Maziotis, Alexandros

    2015-07-01

    The new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change suggests flexible and participatory approaches. Face-to-face contact, although it involves time-consuming procedures with a limited audience, has often been considered the most effective participatory approach. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in the visibility of different citizens' initiatives in the online world, which strengthens the possibility of greater citizen agency. This paper investigates whether the Internet can ensure efficient public participation with meaningful engagement in climate change adaptation. In elucidating issues regarding climate change adaptation, we developed an eParticipation framework to explore adaptation capacity of agriculture to climate change in Northern Italy. Farmers were mobilised using a pre-existing online network. First they took part in an online questionnaire for revealing their perceptions of and reactions to the impacts of ongoing changes in agriculture. We used these results to suggest a portfolio of policy measures and to set evaluation criteria. Farmers then evaluated these policy options, using a multi criteria analysis tool with a simple user-friendly interface. Our results showed that eParticipation is efficient: it supports a rapid data collection, while involving high number of participants. Moreover, we demonstrated that the digital divide is decreasingly an obstacle for using online spaces for public engagement. This research does not present eParticipation as a panacea. Rather, eParticipation was implemented with well-established participatory approaches to both validate the results and, consequently, communicate meaningful messages on local agricultural adaptation practices to regional decision-makers. Feedbacks from the regional decision-makers showed their interest in using eParticipation to improve communication with farmers in the future. We expect that, with further Internet proliferation, eParticipation may allow the inclusion of

  8. A Meta-Analysis of Local Climate Change Adaptation Actions ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Local governments are beginning to take steps to address the consequences of climate change, such as sea level rise and heat events. However, we do not have a clear understanding of what local governments are doing -- the extent to which they expect climate change to affect their community, the types of actions they have in place to address climate change, and the resources at their disposal for implementation. Several studies have been conducted by academics, non-governmental organizations, and public agencies to assess the status of local climate change adaptation. This project collates the findings from dozens of such studies to conduct a meta-analysis of local climate change adaptation actions. The studies will be characterized along several dimensions, including (a) methods used, (b) timing and geographic scope, (c) topics covered, (d) types of adaptation actions identified, (e) implementation status, and (f) public engagement and environmental justice dimensions considered. The poster presents the project's rationale and approach and some illustrative findings from early analyses. [Note: The document being reviewed is an abstract in which a poster is being proposed. The poster will enter clearance if the abstract is accepted] The purpose of this poster is to present the research framework and approaches I am developing for my ORISE postdoctoral project, and to get feedback on early analyses.

  9. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are an evolutionary adaptation to mitigate the reproductive consequences of the human physique.

    PubMed

    Ayuk, Paul T-Y

    2006-01-01

    The aetiology of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy remains unknown, despite over 30 years of research. The prevalence and natural history of these disorders and the lack of progress in identifying a cause calls for a radical new approach. It is hypothesised that these disorders arise as a consequence of abnormal maternal regulatory mechanisms. The evolution of the physical characteristics unique to humans (bi-pedal gait and a large brain) resulted in a narrow pelvis and a large head. Such a physique is not conducive to viviparity and caused difficult, prolonged and obstructed labour with post-partum haemorrhage--the commonest causes of maternal mortality in the absence of modern medical care. In such circumstances, up to 6.5% of pregnant women will die as a direct consequence of pregnancy, mainly as a result of obstructed labour and haemorrhage. The death toll would have been much higher over millions of years of evolution. These conditions exerted significant adaptive and evolutionary pressure on our species. The adaptations necessary to mitigate the reproductive consequences of the human physique include activation of the coagulation system to reduce post-partum haemorrhage, increased blood pressure to peak after delivery and maintain cerebral perfusion in the face of post-partum blood loss and restriction of fetal growth to prevent obstructed labour. These adaptations must be regulated to guarantee their occurrence but limit their extent to prevent disease. Evidence for blood pressure regulation during pregnancy and a proposed mechanism to achieve this are presented. Regulation requires a redundant feto-placental signal and a single tightly controlled regulator. To guarantee that blood pressure rises, the feto-placental signal is predicted to be conveyed by several different molecules and to be produced in excess in all pregnancies. Normality is then maintained by a single tightly controlled regulator. This model predicts that the feto-placental factors that

  10. Ancient climate change, antifreeze, and the evolutionary diversification of Antarctic fishes.

    PubMed

    Near, Thomas J; Dornburg, Alex; Kuhn, Kristen L; Eastman, Joseph T; Pennington, Jillian N; Patarnello, Tomaso; Zane, Lorenzo; Fernández, Daniel A; Jones, Christopher D

    2012-02-28

    The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, but has experienced episodic climate change during the past 40 million years. It remains unclear how ancient periods of climate change have shaped Antarctic biodiversity. The origin of antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) in Antarctic notothenioid fishes has become a classic example of how the evolution of a key innovation in response to climate change can drive adaptive radiation. By using a time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of notothenioids and reconstructed paleoclimate, we demonstrate that the origin of AFGP occurred between 42 and 22 Ma, which includes a period of global cooling approximately 35 Ma. However, the most species-rich lineages diversified and evolved significant ecological differences at least 10 million years after the origin of AFGPs, during a second cooling event in the Late Miocene (11.6-5.3 Ma). This pattern indicates that AFGP was not the sole trigger of the notothenioid adaptive radiation. Instead, the bulk of the species richness and ecological diversity originated during the Late Miocene and into the Early Pliocene, a time coincident with the origin of polar conditions and increased ice activity in the Southern Ocean. Our results challenge the current understanding of the evolution of Antarctic notothenioids suggesting that the ecological opportunity that underlies this adaptive radiation is not linked to a single trait, but rather to a combination of freeze avoidance offered by AFGPs and subsequent exploitation of new habitats and open niches created by increased glacial and ice sheet activity.

  11. HSP33 in eukaryotes - an evolutionary tale of a chaperone adapted to photosynthetic organisms.

    PubMed

    Segal, Na'ama; Shapira, Michal

    2015-06-01

    HSP33 was originally identified in bacteria as a redox-sensitive chaperone that protects unfolded proteins from aggregation. Here, we describe a eukaryote ortholog of HSP33 from the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which appears to play a protective role under light-induced oxidizing conditions. The algal HSP33 exhibits chaperone activity, as shown by citrate synthase aggregation assays. Studies from the Jakob laboratory established that activation of the bacterial HSP33 upon its oxidation initiates by the release of pre-bound Zn from the well conserved Zn-binding motif Cys-X-Cys-Xn -Cys-X-X-Cys, and is followed by significant structural changes (Reichmann et al., ). Unlike the bacterial protein, the HSP33 from C. reinhardtii had lost the first cysteine residue of its center, diminishing Zn-binding activity under all conditions. As a result, the algal protein can be easily activated by minor structural changes in response to oxidation and/or excess heat. An attempt to restore the missing first cysteine did not have a major effect on Zn-binding and on the mode of activation. Replacement of all remaining cysteines abolished completely any residual Zn binding, although the chaperone activation was maintained. A phylogenetic analysis of the algal HSP33 showed that it clusters with the cyanobacterial protein, in line with its biochemical localization to the chloroplast. Indeed, expression of the algal HSP33 increases in response to light-induced oxidative stress, which is experienced routinely by photosynthetic organisms. Despite the fact that no ortholog could be found in higher eukaryotes, its abundance in all algal species examined could have a biotechnological relevance.

  12. Using time series analysis to characterize evolutionary and plastic responses to environmental change: a case study of a shift toward earlier migration date in sockeye salmon.

    PubMed

    Crozier, Lisa G; Scheuerell, Mark D; Zabel, Richard W

    2011-12-01

    Environmental change can shift the phenotype of an organism through either evolutionary or nongenetic processes. Despite abundant evidence of phenotypic change in response to recent climate change, we typically lack sufficient genetic data to identify the role of evolution. We present a method of using phenotypic data to characterize the hypothesized role of natural selection and environmentally driven phenotypic shifts (plasticity). We modeled historical selection and environmental predictors of interannual variation in mean population phenotype using a multivariate state-space model framework. Through model comparisons, we assessed the extent to which an estimated selection differential explained observed variation better than environmental factors alone. We applied the method to a 60-year trend toward earlier migration in Columbia River sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka, producing estimates of annual selection differentials, average realized heritability, and relative cumulative effects of selection and plasticity. We found that an evolutionary response to thermal selection was capable of explaining up to two-thirds of the phenotypic trend. Adaptive plastic responses to June river flow explain most of the remainder. This method is applicable to other populations with time series data if selection differentials are available or can be reconstructed. This method thus augments our toolbox for predicting responses to environmental change.

  13. [Caffeine and adaptive changes in the circulatory system during pregnancy].

    PubMed

    Cendrowska-Pinkosz, Monika; Dworzański, Wojciech; Krauze, Magdalena; Burdan, Franciszek

    2017-01-23

    Adaptive physiological changes that occur in pregnant women can fluctuate with the intake of substances with proven, adverse biological effect on the body. Due to the fact that caffeine is one of the most chronically used xenobiotics, the impact of consuming caffeine on adaptive processes in the circulatory system of a pregnant women required a research. Many researchers emphasise its negative effect on the circulatory system of the mother and her offspring. However, in spite of years of observation, there is no clear answer to what extent dose or in what period of time the caffeine modulates the adaptive processes during pregnancy. Because of the potential risk the supply of caffeine during pregnancy should be subjected to considerable restrictions.

  14. World agriculture and climate change: Economic adaptations. Agriculture economic report

    SciTech Connect

    Darwin, R.; Tsigas, M.; Lewandrowski, J.; Raneses, A.

    1995-06-01

    Recent studies suggest that global increases in temperature and changes in precipitation patterns during the next century will affect world agriculture. Because farmer adaptations, however, these changes are not likely to imperil world food production. Nevertheless, world production of all goods and services may decline if climate change is severe enough or if cropland expansion is hindered. Impacts are not equally distributed around the world. Agricultural production may increase in polar and alpine areas, but decrease in tropical and some other areas. In the United States, soil moisture losses may reduce agricultural production in the Corn Belt or Southeast.

  15. The Charophycean green algae as model systems to study plant cell walls and other evolutionary adaptations that gave rise to land plants.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, Iben; Rose, Jocelyn K C; Doyle, Jeff J; Domozych, David S; Willats, William G T

    2012-01-01

    The Charophycean green algae (CGA) occupy a key phylogenetic position as the evolutionary grade that includes the sister group of the land plants (embryophytes), and so provide potentially valuable experimental systems to study the development and evolution of traits that were necessary for terrestrial colonization. The nature and molecular bases of such traits are still being determined, but one critical adaptation is thought to have been the evolution of a complex cell wall. Very little is known about the identity, origins and diversity of the biosynthetic machinery producing the major suites of structural polymers (i. e., cell wall polysaccharides and associated molecules) that must have been in place for land colonization. However, it has been suggested that the success of the earliest land plants was partly based on the frequency of gene duplication, and possibly whole genome duplications, during times of radical habitat changes. Orders of the CGA span early diverging taxa retaining more ancestral characters, through complex multicellular organisms with morphological characteristics resembling those of land plants. Examination of gene diversity and evolution within the CGA could help reveal when and how the molecular pathways required for synthesis of key structural polymers in land plants arose.

  16. Evolutionary Changes on the Way to Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis in Animals

    PubMed Central

    Dergai, Mykola; Iershov, Anton; Novokhatska, Olga; Pankivskyi, Serhii; Rynditch, Alla

    2016-01-01

    Endocytic pathways constitute an evolutionarily ancient system that significantly contributed to the eukaryotic cell architecture and to the diversity of cell type–specific functions and signaling cascades, in particular of metazoans. Here we used comparative proteomic studies to analyze the universal internalization route in eukaryotes, clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME), to address the issues of how this system evolved and what are its specific features. Among 35 proteins crucially required for animal CME, we identified a subset of 22 proteins common to major eukaryotic branches and 13 gradually acquired during evolution. Based on exploration of structure–function relationship between conserved homologs in sister, distantly related and early diverged branches, we identified novel features acquired during evolution of endocytic proteins on the way to animals: Elaborated way of cargo recruitment by multiple sorting proteins, structural changes in the core endocytic complex AP2, the emergence of the Fer/Cip4 homology domain-only protein/epidermal growth factor receptor substrate 15/intersectin functional complex as an additional interaction hub and activator of AP2, as well as changes in late endocytic stages due to recruitment of dynamin/sorting nexin 9 complex and involvement of the actin polymerization machinery. The evolutionary reconstruction showed the basis of the CME process and its subsequent step-by-step development. Documented changes imply more precise regulation of the pathway, as well as CME specialization for the uptake of specific cargoes and cell type-specific functions. PMID:26872775

  17. Climate change and pastoralism: impacts, consequences and adaptation.

    PubMed

    Herrero, M; Addison, J; Bedelian, C; Carabine, E; Havlík, P; Henderson, B; Van De Steeg, J; Thornton, P K

    2016-11-01

    The authors discuss the main climate change impacts on pastoralist societies, including those on rangelands, livestock and other natural resources, and their extended repercussions on food security, incomes and vulnerability. The impacts of climate change on the rangelands of the globe and on the vulnerability of the people who inhabit them will be severe and diverse, and will require multiple, simultaneous responses. In higher latitudes, the removal of temperature constraints might increase pasture production and livestock productivity, but in tropical arid lands, the impacts are highly location specific, but mostly negative. The authors outline several adaptation options, ranging from implementing new technical practices and diversifying income sources to finding institutional support and introducing new market mechanisms, all of which are pivotal for enhancing the capacity of pastoralists to adapt to climate variability and change. Due to the dynamism of all the changes affecting pastoral societies, strategies that lock pastoral societies into specified development pathways could be maladaptive. Flexible and evolving combinations of practices and policies are the key to successful pastoral adaptation.

  18. Adaptive strategies to climate change in Southern Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chidanti-Malunga, J.

    Climate change poses a big challenge to rural livelihoods in the Shire Valley area of Southern Malawi, where communities have depended almost entirely on rain-fed agriculture for generations. The Shire Valley area comprises of low-altitude dambo areas and uplands which have been the main agricultural areas. Since early to mid 1980s, the uplands have experienced prolonged droughts and poor rainfall distribution, while the dambos have experienced recurrent seasonal floods. This study assessed some of the adaptive strategies exercised by small-scale rural farmers in response to climate change in the Shire Valley. The methodology used in collecting information includes group discussions, household surveys in the area, secondary data, and field observations. The results show that small-scale rural farmers exercise a number of adaptive strategies in response to climate change. These adaptive strategies include: increased use of water resources for small-scale irrigation or wetland farming, mostly using simple delivery techniques; increased management of residual moisture; and increased alternative sources of income such as fishing and crop diversity. It was also observed that government promoted the use of portable motorized pumps for small-scale irrigation in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, these external interventions were not fully adopted; instead the farmers preferred local interventions which mostly had indigenous elements.

  19. Evolutionary geomorphology: thresholds and nonlinearity in landform response to environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, J. D.

    2006-10-01

    Geomorphic systems are typically nonlinear, owing largely to their threshold-dominated nature (but due to other factors as well). Nonlinear geomorphic systems may exhibit complex behaviors not possible in linear systems, including dynamical instability and deterministic chaos. The latter are common in geomorphology, indicating that small, short-lived changes may produce disproportionately large and long-lived results; that evidence of geomorphic change may not reflect proportionally large external forcings; and that geomorphic systems may have multiple potential response trajectories or modes of adjustment to change. Instability and chaos do not preclude predictability, but do modify the context of predictability. The presence of chaotic dynamics inhibits or excludes some forms of predicability and prediction techniques, but does not preclude, and enables, others. These dynamics also make spatial and historical contingency inevitable: geography and history matter. Geomorphic systems are thus governed by a combination of "global" laws, generalizations and relationships that are largely (if not wholly) independent of time and place, and "local" place and/or time-contingent factors. The more factors incorporated in the representation of any geomorphic system, the more singular the results or description are. Generalization is enhanced by reducing rather than increasing the number of factors considered. Prediction of geomorphic responses calls for a recursive approach whereby global laws and local contingencies are used to constrain each other. More specifically a methodology whereby local details are embedded within simple but more highly general phenomenological models is advocated. As landscapes and landforms change in response to climate and other forcings, it cannot be assumed that geomorphic systems progress along any particular pathway. Geomorphic systems are evolutionary in the sense of being path dependent, and historically and geographically contingent

  20. Evolutionary geomorphology: thresholds and nonlinearity in landform response to environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, J. D.

    2006-04-01

    Geomorphic systems are typically nonlinear, owing largely to their threshold-dominated nature (but due to other factors as well). Nonlinear geomorphic systems may exhibit complex behaviors not possible in linear systems, including dynamical instability and deterministic chaos. The latter are common in geomorphology, indicating that small, short-lived changes may produce disproportionately large and long-lived results; that evidence of geomorphic change may not reflect proportionally large external forcings; and that geomorphic systems may have multiple potential response trajectories or modes of adjustment to change. Instability and chaos do not preclude predictability, but do modify the context of predictability. The presence of chaotic dynamics inhibits or excludes some forms of predicability and prediction techniques, but does not preclude, and enables, others. These dynamics also make spatial and historical contingency inevitable: geography and history matter. Geomorphic systems are thus governed by a combination of ''global'' laws, generalizations and relationships that are largely (if not wholly) independent of time and place, and ''local'' place and/or time-contingent factors. The more factors incorporated in the representation of any geomorphic system, the more singular the results or description are. Generalization is enhanced by reducing rather than increasing the number of factors considered. Prediction of geomorphic responses calls for a recursive approach whereby global laws and local contingencies are used to constrain each other. More specifically a methodology whereby local details are embedded within simple but more highly general phenomenological models is advocated. As landscapes and landforms change in response to climate and other forcings, it cannot be assumed that geomorphic systems progress along any particular pathway. Geomorphic systems are evolutionary in the sense of being path dependent, and historically and geographically contingent

  1. Trade in water and commodities as adaptations to global change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammers, R. B.; Hertel, T. W.; Prousevitch, A.; Baldos, U. L. C.; Frolking, S. E.; Liu, J.; Grogan, D. S.

    2015-12-01

    The human capacity for altering the water cycle has been well documented and given the expected change due to population, income growth, biofuels, climate, and associated land use change, there remains great uncertainty in both the degree of increased pressure on land and water resources and in our ability to adapt to these changes. Alleviating regional shortages in water supply can be carried out in a spatial hierarchy through i) direct trade of water between all regions, ii) development of infrastructure to improve water availability within regions (e.g. impounding rivers), iii) via inter-basin hydrological transfer between neighboring regions and, iv) via virtual water trade. These adaptation strategies can be managed via market trade in water and commodities to identify those strategies most likely to be adopted. This work combines the physically-based University of New Hampshire Water Balance Model (WBM) with the macro-scale Purdue University Simplified International Model of agricultural Prices Land use and the Environment (SIMPLE) to explore the interaction of supply and demand for fresh water globally. In this work we use a newly developed grid cell-based version of SIMPLE to achieve a more direct connection between the two modeling paradigms of physically-based models with optimization-driven approaches characteristic of economic models. We explore questions related to the global and regional impact of water scarcity and water surplus on the ability of regions to adapt to future change. Allowing for a variety of adaptation strategies such as direct trade of water and expanding the built water infrastructure, as well as indirect trade in commodities, will reduce overall global water stress and, in some regions, significantly reduce their vulnerability to these future changes.

  2. Analysis of synaptic gene expression in the neocortex of primates reveals evolutionary changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    Muntané, Gerard; Horvath, Julie E; Hof, Patrick R; Ely, John J; Hopkins, William D; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H; Wray, Gregory A; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-06-01

    Increased relative brain size characterizes the evolution of primates, suggesting that enhanced cognition plays an important part in the behavioral adaptations of this mammalian order. In addition to changes in brain anatomy, cognition can also be regulated by molecular changes that alter synaptic function, but little is known about modifications of synapses in primate brain evolution. The aim of the current study was to investigate the expression patterns and evolution of 20 synaptic genes from the prefrontal cortex of 12 primate species. The genes investigated included glutamate receptors, scaffolding proteins, synaptic vesicle components, as well as factors involved in synaptic vesicle release and structural components of the nervous system. Our analyses revealed that there have been significant changes during primate brain evolution in the components of the glutamatergic signaling pathway in terms of gene expression, protein expression, and promoter sequence changes. These results could entail functional modifications in the regulation of specific genes related to processes underlying learning and memory.

  3. Analysis of Synaptic Gene Expression in the Neocortex of Primates Reveals Evolutionary Changes in Glutamatergic Neurotransmission

    PubMed Central

    Muntané, Gerard; Horvath, Julie E.; Hof, Patrick R.; Ely, John J.; Hopkins, William D.; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H.; Wray, Gregory A.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2015-01-01

    Increased relative brain size characterizes the evolution of primates, suggesting that enhanced cognition plays an important part in the behavioral adaptations of this mammalian order. In addition to changes in brain anatomy, cognition can also be regulated by molecular changes that alter synaptic function, but little is known about modifications of synapses in primate brain evolution. The aim of the current study was to investigate the expression patterns and evolution of 20 synaptic genes from the prefrontal cortex of 12 primate species. The genes investigated included glutamate receptors, scaffolding proteins, synaptic vesicle components, as well as factors involved in synaptic vesicle release and structural components of the nervous system. Our analyses revealed that there have been significant changes during primate brain evolution in the components of the glutamatergic signaling pathway in terms of gene expression, protein expression, and promoter sequence changes. These results could entail functional modifications in the regulation of specific genes related to processes underlying learning and memory. PMID:24408959

  4. Demographic aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Wolfgang; Striessnig, Erich

    2015-01-01

    This paper addresses the contribution of changes in population size and structures to greenhouse gas emissions and to the capacity to adapt to climate change. The paper goes beyond the conventional focus on the changing composition by age and sex. It does so by addressing explicitly the changing composition of the population by level of educational attainment, taking into account new evidence about the effect of educational attainment in reducing significantly the vulnerability of populations to climatic challenges. This evidence, which has inspired a new generation of socio-economic climate change scenarios, is summarized. While the earlier IPCC-SRES (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-Special Report on Emissions Scenarios) scenarios only included alternative trajectories for total population size (treating population essentially as a scaling parameter), the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) in the new scenarios were designed to capture the socio-economic challenges to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and include full age, sex, and education details for all countries.

  5. Creating a New Model for Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation for Critical Infrastructure: The New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and the NYC Panel on Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Solecki, W. D.; Freed, A. M.

    2008-12-01

    The New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, launched in August 2008, aims to secure the city's critical infrastructure against rising seas, higher temperatures and fluctuating water supplies projected to result from climate change. The Climate Change Adaptation Task Force is part of PlaNYC, the city's long- term sustainability plan, and is composed of over 30 city and state agencies, public authorities and companies that operate the region's roads, bridges, tunnels, mass transit, and water, sewer, energy and telecommunications systems - all with critical infrastructure identified as vulnerable. It is one of the most comprehensive adaptation efforts yet launched by an urban region. To guide the effort, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has formed the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), modeled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Experts on the panel include climatologists, sea-level rise specialists, adaptation experts, and engineers, as well as representatives from the insurance and legal sectors. The NPCC is developing planning tools for use by the Task Force members that provide information about climate risks, adaptation and risk assessment, prioritization frameworks, and climate protection levels. The advisory panel is supplying climate change projections, helping to identify at- risk infrastructure, and assisting the Task Force in developing adaptation strategies and guidelines for design of new structures. The NPCC will also publish an assessment report in 2009 that will serve as the foundation for climate change adaptation in the New York City region, similar to the IPCC reports. Issues that the Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and the NPCC are addressing include decision- making under climate change uncertainty, effective ways for expert knowledge to be incorporated into public actions, and strategies for maintaining consistent and effective attention to long-term climate change even as municipal governments cycle

  6. Calibration of liquid crystal ultrafast pulse shaper with common-path spectral interferometry and application to coherent control with a covariance matrix adaptation evolutionary strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Jesse W.; Schlup, Philip; Lunacek, Monte; Whitley, Darrell; Bartels, Randy A.

    2008-03-01

    An ultrafast pulse shaper for coherent control applications is described, complete with a simple, reliable calibration technique and an advanced learning control algorithm. The calibration technique makes use of a common-path interferometer, producing less noisy measurements than a conventional Mach-Zehnder interferometer. A covariance matrix adaptation evolutionary strategy (ES) is demonstrated to perform better than a traditional ES for high-dimensional search landscapes.

  7. Evolutionary thinking

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

    Evolution as an idea has a lengthy history, even though the idea of evolution is generally associated with Darwin today. Rebecca Stott provides an engaging and thoughtful overview of this history of evolutionary thinking in her 2013 book, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Since Darwin, the debate over evolution—both how it takes place and, in a long war of words with religiously-oriented thinkers, whether it takes place—has been sustained and heated. A growing share of this debate is now devoted to examining how evolutionary thinking affects areas outside of biology. How do our lives change when we recognize that all is in flux? What can we learn about life more generally if we study change instead of stasis? Carter Phipps’ book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea, delves deep into this relatively new development. Phipps generally takes as a given the validity of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. His story takes us into, as the subtitle suggests, the spiritual and cultural implications of evolutionary thinking. Can religion and evolution be reconciled? Can evolutionary thinking lead to a new type of spirituality? Is our culture already being changed in ways that we don't realize by evolutionary thinking? These are all important questions and Phipps book is a great introduction to this discussion. Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging “integral” or “evolutionary” cultural movement that combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. He has served as the Executive Editor of EnlightenNext magazine (no longer published) and more recently is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a public policy think tank addressing the cultural roots of America's political challenges. What follows is an email interview with Phipps. PMID:26478766

  8. Climate change and Public health: vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzzone, F.; Setegn, S.

    2013-12-01

    Climate Change plays a significant role in public health. Changes in climate affect weather conditions that we are accustomed to. Increases in the frequency or severity of extreme weather events such as storms could increase the risk of dangerous flooding, high winds, and other direct threats to people and property. Changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, and extreme events could enhance the spread of some diseases. According to studies by EPA, the impacts of climate change on health will depend on many factors. These factors include the effectiveness of a community's public health and safety systems to address or prepare for the risk and the behavior, age, gender, and economic status of individuals affected. Impacts will likely vary by region, the sensitivity of populations, the extent and length of exposure to climate change impacts, and society's ability to adapt to change. Transmissions of infectious disease have been associated with social, economic, ecological, health care access, and climatic factors. Some vector-borne diseases typically exhibit seasonal patterns in which the role of temperature and rainfall is well documented. Some of the infectious diseases that have been documented by previous studies, include the correlation between rainfall and drought in the occurrence of malaria, the influence of the dry season on epidemic meningococcal disease in the sub-Saharan African, and the importance of warm ocean waters in driving cholera occurrence in the Ganges River delta in Asia The rise of climate change has been a major concern in the public health sector. Climate change mainly affects vulnerable populations especially in developing countries; therefore, it's important that public health advocates are involve in the decision-making process in order to provide resources and preventative measures for the challenges that are associated with climate change. The main objective of this study is to assess the vulnerability and impact of climate change

  9. Climate Change Adaptation Challenges and EO Business Opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Baeza, Ernesto; Mathieu, Pierre-Philippe; Bansal, Rahul; Del Rey, Maria; Mohamed, Ebrahim; Ruiz, Paz; Signes, Marcos

    Climate change is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century, but is no longer a matter of just scientific concern. It encompasses economics, sociology, global politics as well as national and local politics, law, health and environmental security, etc. The challenge of facing the impacts of climate change is often framed in terms of two potential paths that civilization might take: mitigation and adaptation. On the one hand, mitigation involves reducing the magnitude of climate change itself and is composed of emissions reductions and geoengineering. On the other hand and by contrast, adaptation involves efforts to limit our vulnerability to climate change impacts through various measures. It refers to our ability to adjust ourselves to climate change -including climate variability and extremes, to moderate potential damage, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences. Therefore, we are now faced with a double challenge: next to deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, we also need to adapt to the changing climate conditions. The use of satellites to monitor processes and trends at the global scale is essential in the context of climate change. Earth Observation has the potential to improve our predictive vision and to advance climate models. Space sciences and technologies constitute a significant issue in Education and Public Awareness of Science. Space missions face the probably largest scientific and industrial challenges of humanity. It is thus a fact that space drives innovation in the major breakthrough and cutting edge technological advances of mankind (techniques, processes, new products, … as well as in markets and business models). Technology and innovation is the basis of all space activities. Space agencies offer an entire range of space-related activities - from space science and environmental monitoring to industrial competitiveness and end-user services. More specifically, Earth Observation satellites have a unique

  10. 76 FR 12945 - Instructions for Implementing Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Accordance With Executive...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-09

    ... QUALITY Instructions for Implementing Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Accordance With Executive Order 13514 AGENCY: Council on Environmental Quality. ACTION: Notice of Availability of Climate Change... (CEQ) is issuing instructions to Federal agencies for integrating climate change adaptation into...

  11. Expression of foreign genes in lamprey embryos: an approach to study evolutionary changes in gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Kusakabe, Rie; Tochinai, Shin; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2003-04-15

    Evolution in development can be viewed as a sequence of changes in gene regulation. To investigate the cross-species compatibility of 5' upstream regulatory regions, we introduced exogenous gene constructs derived from a gnathostome genome into fertilized eggs of the Japanese lamprey, Lampetra japonica, a sister group of the gnathostomes. Eggs were injected with gene constructs in which a sequence encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) had been located downstream of either a virus promoter or 5' regulatory regions of medaka actin genes. Reporter gene expression was recorded for more than a month starting two days after injection. Although the expression patterns were highly mosaic and differed among individuals, GFP was expressed predominantly in the striated muscles of lamprey embryos when driven by the 5' upstream regions of the medaka muscle actin genes. This implies that a pan-vertebrate muscle-specific gene regulatory mechanism may have evolved before the agnathan/gnathostome divergence. This gene-transfer technique potentially facilitates the visualization of cells in various differentiating tissues throughout development. The introduction of developmental genes of the lamprey or other animals into lamprey embryos is another potentially important application, one that could provide us with information on the evolutionary changes in functions of genes or gene cascades.

  12. Integrated Decision Support for Global Environmental Change Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, S.; Cantrell, S.; Higgins, G. J.; Marshall, J.; VanWijngaarden, F.

    2011-12-01

    Environmental changes are happening now that has caused concern in many parts of the world; particularly vulnerable are the countries and communities with limited resources and with natural environments that are more susceptible to climate change impacts. Global leaders are concerned about the observed phenomena and events such as Amazon deforestation, shifting monsoon patterns affecting agriculture in the mountain slopes of Peru, floods in Pakistan, water shortages in Middle East, droughts impacting water supplies and wildlife migration in Africa, and sea level rise impacts on low lying coastal communities in Bangladesh. These environmental changes are likely to get exacerbated as the temperatures rise, the weather and climate patterns change, and sea level rise continues. Large populations and billions of dollars of infrastructure could be affected. At Northrop Grumman, we have developed an integrated decision support framework for providing necessary information to stakeholders and planners to adapt to the impacts of climate variability and change at the regional and local levels. This integrated approach takes into account assimilation and exploitation of large and disparate weather and climate data sets, regional downscaling (dynamic and statistical), uncertainty quantification and reduction, and a synthesis of scientific data with demographic and economic data to generate actionable information for the stakeholders and decision makers. Utilizing a flexible service oriented architecture and state-of-the-art visualization techniques, this information can be delivered via tailored GIS portals to meet diverse set of user needs and expectations. This integrated approach can be applied to regional and local risk assessments, predictions and decadal projections, and proactive adaptation planning for vulnerable communities. In this paper we will describe this comprehensive decision support approach with selected applications and case studies to illustrate how this

  13. Risk and efficacy of human-enabled interspecific hybridization for climate-change adaptation: Response to Hamilton and Miller (2016)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kovach, Ryan P.; Luikart, Gordon; Lowe, Winsor H.; Boyer, Matthew C.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.

    2016-01-01

    Hamilton and Miller (2016) provide an interesting and provocative discussion of how hybridization and introgression can promote evolutionary potential in the face of climate change. They argue that hybridization—mating between individuals from genetically distinct populations—can alleviate inbreeding depression and promote adaptive introgression and evolutionary rescue. We agree that deliberate intraspecific hybridization (mating between individuals of the same species) is an underused management tool for increasing fitness in inbred populations (i.e., genetic rescue; Frankham 2015; Whiteley et al. 2015). The potential risks and benefits of assisted gene flow have been discussed in the literature, and an emerging consensus suggests that mating between populations isolated for approximately 50–100 generations can benefit fitness, often with a minor risk of outbreeding depression (Frankham et al. 2011; Aitken & Whitlock 2013; Allendorf et al. 2013).

  14. The genomic basis of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Verdugo, Alejandra; Buckley, James; Stapley, Jessica

    2017-03-01

    Recent recognition that ecological and evolutionary processes can operate on similar timescales has led to a rapid increase in theoretical and empirical studies on eco-evolutionary dynamics. Progress in the fields of evolutionary biology, genomics and ecology is greatly enhancing our understanding of rapid adaptive processes, the predictability of adaptation and the genetics of ecologically important traits. However, progress in these fields has proceeded largely independently of one another. In an attempt to better integrate these fields, the centre for 'Adaptation to a Changing Environment' organized a conference entitled 'The genomic basis of eco-evolutionary change' and brought together experts in ecological genomics and eco-evolutionary dynamics. In this review, we use the work of the invited speakers to summarize eco-evolutionary dynamics and discuss how they are relevant for understanding and predicting responses to contemporary environmental change. Then, we show how recent advances in genomics are contributing to our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics. Finally, we highlight the gaps in our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics and recommend future avenues of research in eco-evolutionary dynamics.

  15. Morphological and functional changes in the vertebral column with increasing aquatic adaptation in crocodylomorphs

    PubMed Central

    Molnar, Julia L.; Pierce, Stephanie E.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Turner, Alan H.; Hutchinson, John R.

    2015-01-01

    The lineage leading to modern Crocodylia has undergone dramatic evolutionary changes in morphology, ecology and locomotion over the past 200+ Myr. These functional innovations may be explained in part by morphological changes in the axial skeleton, which is an integral part of the vertebrate locomotor system. Our objective was to estimate changes in osteological range of motion (RoM) and intervertebral joint stiffness of thoracic and lumbar vertebrae with increasing aquatic adaptation in crocodylomorphs. Using three-dimensional virtual models and morphometrics, we compared the modern crocodile Crocodylus to five extinct crocodylomorphs: Terrestrisuchus, Protosuchus, Pelagosaurus, Steneosaurus and Metriorhynchus, which span the spectrum from terrestrial to fully aquatic. In Crocodylus, we also experimentally measured changes in trunk flexibility with sequential removal of osteoderms and soft tissues. Our results for the more aquatic species matched our predictions fairly well, but those for the more terrestrial early crocodylomorphs did not. A likely explanation for this lack of correspondence is the influence of other axial structures, particularly the rigid series of dorsal osteoderms in early crocodylomorphs. The most important structures for determining RoM and stiffness of the trunk in Crocodylus were different in dorsoventral versus mediolateral bending, suggesting that changes in osteoderm and rib morphology over crocodylomorph evolution would have affected movements in some directions more than others. PMID:26716001

  16. Handling preference heterogeneity for river services' adaptation to climate change.

    PubMed

    Andreopoulos, Dimitrios; Damigos, Dimitrios; Comiti, Francesco; Fischer, Christian

    2015-09-01

    Climate projection models for the Southern Mediterranean basin indicate a strong drought trend. This pattern is anticipated to affect a range of services derived from river ecosystems and consecutively deteriorate the sectoral outputs and household welfare. This paper aims to evaluate local residents' adaptation preferences for the Piave River basin in Italy. A Discrete Choice Experiment accounting for adaptation scenarios of the Piave River services was conducted and the collected data were econometrically analyzed using Random Parameters Logit, Latent Class and Covariance Heterogeneity models. In terms of policy-relevant outcomes, the analysis indicates that respondents are willing to pay for adaptation plans. This attitude is reflected on the compensating surplus to sustain the current state of the Piave, which corresponds to a monthly contribution of 80€ per household. From an econometric point of view, the results show that it is not sufficient to take solely into account general heterogeneity, provided that distinct treatment of the heterogeneity produces rather different welfare estimates. This implies that analysts should examine a set of criteria when deciding on how to better approach heterogeneity for each empirical data set. Overall, non-market values of environmental services should be considered when formulating cost-effective adaptation measures for river systems undergoing climate change effects and appropriate heterogeneity approximation could render these values unbiased and accurate.

  17. Ancient climate change, antifreeze, and the evolutionary diversification of Antarctic fishes

    PubMed Central

    Near, Thomas J.; Dornburg, Alex; Kuhn, Kristen L.; Eastman, Joseph T.; Pennington, Jillian N.; Patarnello, Tomaso; Zane, Lorenzo; Fernández, Daniel A.; Jones, Christopher D.

    2012-01-01

    The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, but has experienced episodic climate change during the past 40 million years. It remains unclear how ancient periods of climate change have shaped Antarctic biodiversity. The origin of antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) in Antarctic notothenioid fishes has become a classic example of how the evolution of a key innovation in response to climate change can drive adaptive radiation. By using a time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of notothenioids and reconstructed paleoclimate, we demonstrate that the origin of AFGP occurred between 42 and 22 Ma, which includes a period of global cooling approximately 35 Ma. However, the most species-rich lineages diversified and evolved significant ecological differences at least 10 million years after the origin of AFGPs, during a second cooling event in the Late Miocene (11.6–5.3 Ma). This pattern indicates that AFGP was not the sole trigger of the notothenioid adaptive radiation. Instead, the bulk of the species richness and ecological diversity originated during the Late Miocene and into the Early Pliocene, a time coincident with the origin of polar conditions and increased ice activity in the Southern Ocean. Our results challenge the current understanding of the evolution of Antarctic notothenioids suggesting that the ecological opportunity that underlies this adaptive radiation is not linked to a single trait, but rather to a combination of freeze avoidance offered by AFGPs and subsequent exploitation of new habitats and open niches created by increased glacial and ice sheet activity. PMID:22331888

  18. Teaching older adults by adapting for aging changes.

    PubMed

    Weinrich, S P; Weinrich, M C; Boyd, M D; Atwood, J; Cervenka, B

    1994-12-01

    Few teaching programs are geared to meet the special learning needs of the elderly. This pilot study used a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design to measure the effect of the Adaptation for Aging Changes (AAC) Method on fecal occult blood screening (FOBS) at meal sites for the elderly in the South. The AAC Method uses techniques that adjust the presentation to accommodate for normal aging changes and includes a demonstration of the procedure for collection of the stool blood test, memory reminders of the date to return the stool blood test, and written materials adapted to the 5th grade reading level. In addition, actual practice of the FOBS with the use of peanut butter was added to the AAC Method, making it the AAC with Practice Method (AACP) in two sites. The American Cancer Society's colorectal cancer educational slide-tape show served as the basis for all of the methods. Hemoccult II kits were distributed at no cost to the participants. Descriptive statistics, chi 2, and logistic regressions were used to analyze data from 135 Council on Aging meal sites' participants. The average age of the participants was 72 years; the average educational level was 8th grade; over half the sample was African-American; and half of the participants had incomes below the poverty level. Results support a significant increase in participation in FOBS in participants taught by the AACP Method [chi 2 (1, n = 56) = 5.34, p = 0.02; odds ratio = 6.2]. This research provides support for teaching that makes adaptations for aging changes, especially adaptations that include actual practice of the procedure.

  19. Climate change adaptation for the US National Wildlife Refuge System

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffith, Brad; Scott, J. Michael; Adamcik, Robert S.; Ashe, Daniel; Czech, Brian; Fischman, Robert; Gonzalez, Patrick; Lawler, Joshua J.; McGuire, A. David; Pidgorna, Anna

    2009-01-01

    Since its establishment in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) has grown to 635 units and 37 Wetland Management Districts in the United States and its territories. These units provide the seasonal habitats necessary for migratory waterfowl and other species to complete their annual life cycles. Habitat conversion and fragmentation, invasive species, pollution, and competition for water have stressed refuges for decades, but the interaction of climate change with these stressors presents the most recent, pervasive, and complex conservation challenge to the NWRS. Geographic isolation and small unit size compound the challenges of climate change, but a combined emphasis on species that refuges were established to conserve and on maintaining biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health provides the NWRS with substantial latitude to respond. Individual symptoms of climate change can be addressed at the refuge level, but the strategic response requires system-wide planning. A dynamic vision of the NWRS in a changing climate, an explicit national strategic plan to implement that vision, and an assessment of representation, redundancy, size, and total number of units in relation to conservation targets are the first steps toward adaptation. This adaptation must begin immediately and be built on more closely integrated research and management. Rigorous projections of possible futures are required to facilitate adaptation to change. Furthermore, the effective conservation footprint of the NWRS must be increased through land acquisition, creative partnerships, and educational programs in order for the NWRS to meet its legal mandate to maintain the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of the system and the species and ecosystems that it supports.

  20. Climate change adaptation for the US National Wildlife Refuge System.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Brad; Scott, J Michael; Adamcik, Robert; Ashe, Daniel; Czech, Brian; Fischman, Robert; Gonzalez, Patrick; Lawler, Joshua; McGuire, A David; Pidgorna, Anna

    2009-12-01

    Since its establishment in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) has grown to 635 units and 37 Wetland Management Districts in the United States and its territories. These units provide the seasonal habitats necessary for migratory waterfowl and other species to complete their annual life cycles. Habitat conversion and fragmentation, invasive species, pollution, and competition for water have stressed refuges for decades, but the interaction of climate change with these stressors presents the most recent, pervasive, and complex conservation challenge to the NWRS. Geographic isolation and small unit size compound the challenges of climate change, but a combined emphasis on species that refuges were established to conserve and on maintaining biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health provides the NWRS with substantial latitude to respond. Individual symptoms of climate change can be addressed at the refuge level, but the strategic response requires system-wide planning. A dynamic vision of the NWRS in a changing climate, an explicit national strategic plan to implement that vision, and an assessment of representation, redundancy, size, and total number of units in relation to conservation targets are the first steps toward adaptation. This adaptation must begin immediately and be built on more closely integrated research and management. Rigorous projections of possible futures are required to facilitate adaptation to change. Furthermore, the effective conservation footprint of the NWRS must be increased through land acquisition, creative partnerships, and educational programs in order for the NWRS to meet its legal mandate to maintain the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of the system and the species and ecosystems that it supports.

  1. Aiding cities in their work on climate change adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, P.

    2013-12-01

    Urban areas around the world are at the frontlines of climate change because of their enormous aggregate populations and because of their vulnerability to multiple climate change stressors. Half of our planet's 7.1 billion inhabitants currently reside in cities with six billion people projected to call cities home by 2050. In the U.S. and much of the rest of the world, cities are warming at twice the rate of the planet. Superimposed on urban climate changes driven by global warming are the regional effects of urban heat domes driven by large differences in land use, building materials, and vegetation between cities and their rural surroundings. In megacities - those with populations exceeding 10 million people - such as Tokyo - urban heat domes can contribute to daytime temperatures that soar to more than 11°C higher than their rural surroundings. In addition, the localized warming can alter patterns of precipitation in metropolitan regions and perhaps even influence the frequency and severity of severe weather. Municipal officials need to accelerate their efforts to prepare and implement climate change adaptation strategies but what are the institutions that can help enable this work? Informal science education centers can play vital roles because they are overwhelmingly in urban settings and because they can act as ';competent outsiders.' They are neither responsible for conducting climate change research nor accountable for implementing public policies to address climate change. They instead can play an essential role of ensuring that solid science informs the formulation of good practices and policies. It is incumbent, therefore, for informal science education centers to accelerate and enhance their abilities to help translate scientific insights into on-the-ground actions. This session will explore the potential roles of informal science education centers to advance climate change adaptation through a review of the urban climate change education initiatives

  2. Using Web GIS "Climate" for Adaptation to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordova, Yulia; Martynova, Yulia; Shulgina, Tamara

    2015-04-01

    A work is devoted to the application of an information-computational Web GIS "Climate" developed by joint team of the Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems SB RAS and Tomsk State University to raise awareness about current and future climate change as a basis for further adaptation. Web-GIS "Climate» (http://climate.scert.ru/) based on modern concepts of Web 2.0 provides opportunities to study regional climate change and its consequences by providing access to climate and weather models, a large set of geophysical data and means of processing and visualization. Also, the system is used for the joint development of software applications by distributed research teams, research based on these applications and undergraduate and graduate students training. In addition, the system capabilities allow creating information resources to raise public awareness about climate change, its causes and consequences, which is a necessary step for the subsequent adaptation to these changes. Basic information course on climate change is placed in the public domain and is aimed at local population. Basic concepts and problems of modern climate change and its possible consequences are set out and illustrated in accessible language. Particular attention is paid to regional climate changes. In addition to the information part, the course also includes a selection of links to popular science network resources on current issues in Earth Sciences and a number of practical tasks to consolidate the material. These tasks are performed for a particular territory. Within the tasks users need to analyze the prepared within the "Climate" map layers and answer questions of direct interest to the public: "How did the minimum value of winter temperatures change in your area?", "What are the d