PerspectiveEcology

Fishing for answers

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6452, pp. 443-444
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay3158

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

One hallmark of the Anthropocene is a rapid change in the ways our bipedal species affects the wild cohabitants on Earth. Emerging evidence on many fronts suggests that human-induced environmental change can lead to marked evolution on decadal or even shorter time scales. One eye-opening study from 2002 simulated intensive fishing and reported a twofold difference in body weight after just four generations of selectively harvesting either small or large individuals (1). Merely documenting that rapid evolution takes place, however, falls short of deciphering how it occurs at a mechanistic level—a prerequisite for predicting evolution in other cases. On page 487 of this issue, Therkildsen et al. (2) show that genomic changes manifested during the original 2002 experiment partly aligned with variation along a natural gradient in the wild, but that strong selection also quickly eroded genetic variance.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science