Back to search

KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima

Determinants of Rates of Origination, Extinction and Evolution

Awarded: NOK 44,999

Predictions of the effect that climate change will have on the natural world often assume that (semi)natural populations can adapt to a changing environment through evolution by natural selection. Indeed, many short-term studies of natural and laboratory populations have shown that genetically diverse populations can rapidly adapt to changing conditions. Paradoxically however, studies of species evolving over thousands to millions of years indicate that evolution is typically very slow. Indeed, historical episodes of environmental change have typically led to widespread extinction, and not to widespread adaptation. These paradoxical observations are poorly understood, mainly because while we have relatively good understanding of short-term, so-called microevolution, we don't understand yet how microevolutionary processes translate into long-term, macroevolutionary processes. This symposium will bring together international experts in ecology, evolutionary biology, paleontology, and developmental biology to develop that understanding. Doing so is crucial, because the current human-induced global change has brought us on the verge of the sixth major mass extinction.

Activity:

KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima