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News: September 2017

Gauging evolutionary adaptation- are our models right?

One challenge facing scientists is to estimate how our environment and the complex web of creatures within it, will respond to changes in their environment due to climate change or other human influences.

Traditionally, scientists have taken and tested single or pairs of ecological ‘drivers’ of change in the environment, elements such as increased temperature, increased CO2 or changes in herbicides or fertilizer, to assess how species will evolve over hundreds of generations.

This lab-based model of evolutionary change is simple compared to the complex environment in which species exist, so one major task for scientists is to understand how well simplified versions of environmental change teach us about more complex ones.

Publication date: 1 September 2017

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