Predicting evolutionary responses to climate change

In addition to exploring past and current patterns of plasticity, adaptation, and introgression, We are interested in integrating data from genome scans into more future-oriented predictive frameworks (Figure below; Bay et al. 2017 Am Nat).

For corals, we used the genetic basis of temperature adaptation that we previously estimated (Bay and Palumbi 2014 Curr Biol), along with projected sea surface temperatures, to simulate future persistence and extinction (Figure below: Bay et al. 2017 Sci Adv). Specifically, we used empirical measures of genetic diversity in corals from Rarotonga in the Cook islands to ask whether that population could adapt rapidly enough to persist through projected warming. Based on the model, these corals would persist through 2100 under mitigated climate scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP4.5), but not under more severe scenarios (RCP6.0 and RCP8.5).

In migratory birds, we have used a model of association between genetic variation and climate to estimate the amount of evolution each population must undergo to keep pace with climate change, a measure of vulnerability (Bay et al. 2018 Science; Ruegg et al. 2018 Ecology Letters). Looking forward, we plan to examine climate vulnerability on a multi-species scale; for example, by looking for regions of high vulnerability across many species or traits that are associated with vulnerability or resilience.

Publications

. Ecological genomics predicts climate vulnerability in an endangered southwest songbird. Ecology Letters, 2018.

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. Genomic signals of selection predict climate-driven population declines in a migratory bird. Science, 2018.

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. Genomic models predict successful coral adaptation if future ocean warming rates are reduced. Science Advances, 2017.

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. Predicting responses to contemporary environmental change using evolutionary response architectures. The American Naturalist, 2017.

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