Constraint to Adaptive Evolution in Response to Global Warming

Science  05 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5540, pp. 151-154
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063656

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We characterized the genetic architecture of three populations of a native North American prairie plant in field conditions that simulate the warmer and more arid climates predicted by global climate models. Despite genetic variance for traits under selection, among-trait genetic correlations that are antagonistic to the direction of selection limit adaptive evolution within these populations. Predicted rates of evolutionary response are much slower than the predicted rate of climate change.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed.

  • Present address: University of Virginia, Department of Biology, Glimer Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA. E-mail: jre7e{at}

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