Concluding Remarks

Further work on model organisms will lead to the identification of more candidate genes linked to evolutionary shifts in response to climatic and chemical stressors. As more genomes become sequenced, it should be possible to extend this search to nonmodel organisms, particularly sensitive species that may respond differently to environmental stressors. Furthermore, the ability to extract DNA data from museum specimens may offer more opportunities to collect historic data. Both phenotypic and genotypic data on model organisms in natural and laboratory-based environments provide evidence for rapid evolutionary responses to stress. Nevertheless, whether results from generalist species can be extrapolated to sensitive/restricted species is not clear. Although there is a huge potential for genetic markers to reveal current, past and even future effects of stress on natural populations, further work on sensitive species may aid in the identification of populations that cannot adapt and in understanding the reasons why this is the case.

See also: Adaptation; Climate Change 3: History and Current State; Clines; Environmental Tolerance; Evolutionary Ecology: Overview; Fitness; Phenotypic Plasticity; Units of Selection.

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