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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary insights from studies of geographic variation: Establishing a baseline and looking ahead to future change

Sexton, Jason [1].

What are the limits to adaptation? Insights from ecological clines, species range limits, and the geography of speciation.

Why do species fail to adapt?  Earth is filled with practically innumerable life forms, yet it is often observed that single species cannot inhabit all ecological niches.  Ecological clines and the distributional ends of clines that species inhabit (aka range limits) are useful arenas to test theories related to constraints on adaptation to novel environments (i.e. niche evolution).  I will present some recent research at varying geographic and evolutionary scales, focusing mainly on monkeyflowers (Mimulus spp.), to address potential underlying constraints to adaptation.  We often observe a species distributed along a cline and ask why it does not extend its reach further through adaptation.  I will discuss how it may be useful to frame this question as a balance between adaptation and speciation.  I will review some recent findings on the spatial and ecological drivers of gene flow between populations, evidence for genetic variation constraints across species ranges, and what examining closely related species and the geography of speciation may tell us concerning adaptive constraints.  I will conclude by discussing research approaches in plants that may help us understand adaptive potentials and vulnerabilities of populations under rapidly changing ecological conditions.

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1 - University of California, Merced, School of Natural Sciences, 5200 North Lake Rd., Merced, CA, 95343, USA

range limit
niche evolution.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY08
Location: Firs North/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: SY08002
Abstract ID:880
Candidate for Awards:None

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