Evolutionary responses to spatial and temporal variation in temperature.
Angilletta, Michael*,1, 1 Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
ABSTRACT- More than any other abiotic variable, temperature impacts the behavior, physiology and ecology of all organisms. Temperature has been linked to everything from seasonal patterns of growth, survival and reproduction to geographic patterns of body size, population density, and species diversity. Ecological studies have documented shifts in phenologies, life histories and geographic ranges associated with recent climatic change, and some studies have predicted responses to future change. Yet, the impacts of thermal heterogeneity on populations, species and communities depend not only on ecological processes but also on evolutionary processes. Hence, our ability to predict responses to climatic change (or merely to understand them) is limited by our theory of thermal adaptation. I will draw on current evolutionary theory to predict how organisms should adapt to thermal heterogeneity; adaptive responses involve shifts in thermoregulation, thermal sensitivity, thermal acclimation, and/or life history. Using comparative and experimental data, I will review the mixed support for the assumptions and predictions of theory. Finally, I will identify gaps in our theory that must be filled if we wish to integrate ecological and evolutionary views to understand the biological consequences of climate change.
Key words: temperature, adaptation, climate change
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