Rapid evolution in ecological restorations

Rapid evolution can occur in a time frame as short as one generation, which has implications for how species will respond to human-induced environmental changes.

Rapid evolution is likely to occur during the initiation of ecological restorations, because managers often use seeds or propagules that are maladapted to the restoration environment. This may occur because locally adapted seed or population sources are not available. Recent studies from the field of eco-evolutionary dynamics have showed that rapid evolution may influence community and ecosystem processes, such as species diversity or ecosystem function. Experimental studies that have tested for rapid evolution in restorations are rare and none have tested for how evolution may influence restoration ecology, despite the impact it may have on restoration success and establishment.

For more about eco-evolutionary dynamics in restorations – read the article by LaRue et al.  that came out in January in Restoration Ecology here

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