Ary A. Hoffmann

Genetic adaptation to climate change: Insights from natural populations

Ary. A. Hoffmann

The University of Melbourne, Department of Genetics & Department of Zoology,Australia

In this paper I provide an overview of what has been learnt from evolutionary genetic studies of climate change adaptation in natural populations of plants and animals. I briefly outline some examples of recent rapid adaptation and provide summary of the two divergent views that have developed in the literature about the likelihood of evolutionary adaptation occurring in natural populations.  Factors that contribute to these different views are investigated, including the nature of selection, genotype-environment interactions, population processes and the genetic architecture of traits. I then discuss the components of biodiversity that are most likely and least likely to evolve under climate change, and I consider new insights that are starting to emerge from comparative genomics and population genomics. Finally the ways in which evolutionary principles can be incorporated into predictions of changes in species distributions under climate change are considered.