Adaptation and evolutionary rescue in metapopulations experiencing environmental deterioration.
ABSTRACT It is not known whether evolution will usually be rapid enough to allow a species to adapt and persist in a deteriorating environment. We tracked the eco-evolutionary dynamics of metapopulations with a laboratory model system of yeast exposed to salt stress. Metapopulations experienced environmental deterioration at three different rates and their component populations were either unconnected or connected by local dispersal or by global dispersal. We found that adaptation was favored by gradual deterioration and local dispersal. After further abrupt deterioration, the frequency of evolutionary rescue depended on both the prior rate of deterioration and the rate of dispersal. Adaptation was surprisingly frequent and rapid in small peripheral populations. Thus, evolutionary dynamics affect both the persistence and the range of a species after environmental deterioration.
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ABSTRACT: In this article, we are interested in a non-monotone system of logistic reaction-diffusion equations. This system of equations models an epidemics where two types of pathogens are competing, and a mutation can change one type into the other with a certain rate. We show the existence of minimal speed travelling waves, that are usually non monotonic. We then provide a description of the shape of those constructed travelling waves, and relate them to some Fisher-KPP fronts with non-minimal speed.
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ABSTRACT: Background Anthropogenic disturbances can lead to intense selection pressures on traits and very rapid evolutionary changes. Evolutionary responses to environmental changes, in turn, reflect changes in the genetic structure of the traits, accompanied by a reduction of evolutionary potential of the populations under selection. Assessing the effects of pollutants on the evolutionary responses and on the genetic structure of populations is thus important to understanding the mechanisms that entail specialization to novel environmental conditions or resistance to novel stressors.ResultsUsing an experimental evolution approach we exposed Caenorhabditis elegans populations to uranium, salt and alternating uranium-salt environments over 22 generations. We analyzed the changes in the average values of life history traits and the consequences at the demographic level in these populations. We also estimated the phenotypic and genetic (co)variance structure of these traits at different generations. Compared to populations in salt, populations in uranium showed a reduction of the stability of their trait structure and a higher capacity to respond by acclimation. However, the evolutionary responses of traits were generally lower for uranium compared to salt treatment; and the evolutionary responses to the alternating uranium¿salt environment were between those of constant environments. Consequently, at the end of the experiment, the population rate of increase was higher in uranium than in salt and intermediate in the alternating environment.Conclusions Our multigenerational experiment confirmed that rapid adaptation to different polluted environments may involve different evolutionary responses resulting in demographic consequences. These changes are partly explained by the effects of the pollutants on the genetic (co)variance structure of traits and the capacity of acclimation to novel conditions. Finally, our results in the alternating environment may confirm the selection of a generalist type in this environment.BMC Evolutionary Biology 12/2014; 14(1):252. DOI:10.1186/s12862-014-0252-6 · 3.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: According to recent reviews, the question of how trophic interactions may affect evolutionary responses to climate change remains unanswered. In this modelling study, we explore the evolutionary dynamics of thermal and plant-herbivore interaction traits in a warming environment. We find the herbivore usually reduces adaptation speed and persistence time of the plant by reducing biomass. However, if the plant interaction trait and thermal trait are correlated, herbivores can create different coevolutionary attractors. One attractor has a warmer plant thermal optimum, and the other a colder one compared with the environment. A warmer plant thermal strategy is given a head start under warming, the only case where herbivores can increase plant persistence under warming. Persistence time of the plant under warming is maximal at small or large thermal niche width. This study shows that considering trophic interactions is necessary and feasible for understanding how ecosystems respond to climate change. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing papers of a Biological character. Royal Society (Great Britain) 03/2015; 282(1805):20141351. DOI:10.1098/rspb.2014.1351