Limits...
Why evolutionary biologists should get seriously involved in ecological monitoring and applied biodiversity assessment programs.

Brodersen J, Seehausen O - Evol Appl (2014)

Bottom Line: We argue that the lack of process-based evolutionary thinking in ecological monitoring means a significant loss of opportunity for research and conservation.Assessment of genetic and phenotypic variation within and between species needs to be fully integrated to safeguard biodiversity and the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in natural ecosystems.We illustrate our case with examples from fishes and conclude with examples of ongoing monitoring programs and provide suggestions on how to improve future quantitative diversity surveys.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Fish Ecology and Evolution, EAWAG Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Center for Ecology, Evolution and Biogeochemistry Kastanienbaum, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
While ecological monitoring and biodiversity assessment programs are widely implemented and relatively well developed to survey and monitor the structure and dynamics of populations and communities in many ecosystems, quantitative assessment and monitoring of genetic and phenotypic diversity that is important to understand evolutionary dynamics is only rarely integrated. As a consequence, monitoring programs often fail to detect changes in these key components of biodiversity until after major loss of diversity has occurred. The extensive efforts in ecological monitoring have generated large data sets of unique value to macro-scale and long-term ecological research, but the insights gained from such data sets could be multiplied by the inclusion of evolutionary biological approaches. We argue that the lack of process-based evolutionary thinking in ecological monitoring means a significant loss of opportunity for research and conservation. Assessment of genetic and phenotypic variation within and between species needs to be fully integrated to safeguard biodiversity and the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in natural ecosystems. We illustrate our case with examples from fishes and conclude with examples of ongoing monitoring programs and provide suggestions on how to improve future quantitative diversity surveys.

No MeSH data available.


Overview of organisms mentioned in text: (A) light and dark phenotypes of peppered moth (Biston betularia), (B) sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), (C) Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), (D) Atlantic trout (Salmo trutta), (E) Rhône trout (Salmo rhodanensis), (F) barbel (Barbus barbus), (G) roach (Rutilus rutilus), (H) grayling (Thymallus thymallus), (I) two sympatric distinct phenotypes of sculpins (Cottus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland, (J) whitefish species pair from Lake Walen, Switzerland (male and female Coregonus duplex (top) & C. helingus (bottom)), (K) phenotype gradient in a Cichlid species pair (Pundamilia nyereri and P. pundamilia) from Lake Victoria, (L) threespine stickleback species pair from Enos Lake, BC, Canada (Gasterosteus spp.). Photograph courtesy: (A) ‘Biston.betularia.7200’ and ‘Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209’ by o.leillinger@web.de. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biston.betularia.7200.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Biston.betularia.7200.jpg & http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209.jpg, (B) ‘Oncorhynchus nerka’ by Timothy Knepp of the Fish and Wildlife Service. – US Fish and Wildlife Service. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oncorhynchus_nerka.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Oncorhynchus_nerka.jpg, (L) Eric B. Taylor, University of British Columbia. All other photographs by the authors.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231589&req=5

fig01: Overview of organisms mentioned in text: (A) light and dark phenotypes of peppered moth (Biston betularia), (B) sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), (C) Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), (D) Atlantic trout (Salmo trutta), (E) Rhône trout (Salmo rhodanensis), (F) barbel (Barbus barbus), (G) roach (Rutilus rutilus), (H) grayling (Thymallus thymallus), (I) two sympatric distinct phenotypes of sculpins (Cottus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland, (J) whitefish species pair from Lake Walen, Switzerland (male and female Coregonus duplex (top) & C. helingus (bottom)), (K) phenotype gradient in a Cichlid species pair (Pundamilia nyereri and P. pundamilia) from Lake Victoria, (L) threespine stickleback species pair from Enos Lake, BC, Canada (Gasterosteus spp.). Photograph courtesy: (A) ‘Biston.betularia.7200’ and ‘Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209’ by o.leillinger@web.de. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biston.betularia.7200.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Biston.betularia.7200.jpg & http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209.jpg, (B) ‘Oncorhynchus nerka’ by Timothy Knepp of the Fish and Wildlife Service. – US Fish and Wildlife Service. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oncorhynchus_nerka.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Oncorhynchus_nerka.jpg, (L) Eric B. Taylor, University of British Columbia. All other photographs by the authors.

Mentions: Traditionally, evolutionary and ecological processes were assumed to work on time scales that differed by orders of magnitude (Slobodkin 1961). Hence, observed diversity in nature was assumed to be a result of a relatively ancient evolutionary past that generated diversity and contemporary ecological processes that sort it (Carroll et al. 2007). Despite the long-standing realization that ecology is the major driver of natural selection, it was only in recent years that ecologists and evolutionary biologists began to realize that ecological process can drive evolutionary change at largely overlapping time scales (Hendry and Kinnison 1999; Hendry et al. 2007). Examples include the industrial melanism, that is, rapid change in phenotypes of the peppered moth, Biston betularia (Fig.1A), in response to human-induced change in selection environment (e.g., Kettlewell 1956) and the rapid evolution of reproductive isolation between beach and river spawning ecotypes of an introduced salmon population (Hendry et al. 2000; Fig.1B). This realization has important implications for nature conservancy and ecosystem management, but it has yet to be embraced by applied biodiversity monitoring. This is urgent because there is growing evidence that the increased rate of environmental change driven by human impact can speed up evolutionary processes (Hendry et al. 2008) including in ways that cause the rapid loss of biodiversity through evolution (Seehausen 2006). Adaptation and its loss, the reversal of speciation, and even incipient speciation can occur on contemporary time scales (Hendry et al. 2007; Seehausen et al. 2008; Abbott et al. 2013; Kleindorfer et al. 2014), population recovery can be facilitated or constrained by evolutionary processes (Lancaster et al. 2006), and biological invasions are often fueled by evolutionary change within the invasive populations (Kolbe et al. 2004; Allan and Pannell 2009; Lucek et al. 2013). Collectively, this suggests that evolutionary biology should be considered a central element in practical applications such as ecological monitoring (Thompson 1998; Jørgensen et al. 2007).


Why evolutionary biologists should get seriously involved in ecological monitoring and applied biodiversity assessment programs.

Brodersen J, Seehausen O - Evol Appl (2014)

Overview of organisms mentioned in text: (A) light and dark phenotypes of peppered moth (Biston betularia), (B) sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), (C) Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), (D) Atlantic trout (Salmo trutta), (E) Rhône trout (Salmo rhodanensis), (F) barbel (Barbus barbus), (G) roach (Rutilus rutilus), (H) grayling (Thymallus thymallus), (I) two sympatric distinct phenotypes of sculpins (Cottus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland, (J) whitefish species pair from Lake Walen, Switzerland (male and female Coregonus duplex (top) & C. helingus (bottom)), (K) phenotype gradient in a Cichlid species pair (Pundamilia nyereri and P. pundamilia) from Lake Victoria, (L) threespine stickleback species pair from Enos Lake, BC, Canada (Gasterosteus spp.). Photograph courtesy: (A) ‘Biston.betularia.7200’ and ‘Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209’ by o.leillinger@web.de. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biston.betularia.7200.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Biston.betularia.7200.jpg & http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209.jpg, (B) ‘Oncorhynchus nerka’ by Timothy Knepp of the Fish and Wildlife Service. – US Fish and Wildlife Service. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oncorhynchus_nerka.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Oncorhynchus_nerka.jpg, (L) Eric B. Taylor, University of British Columbia. All other photographs by the authors.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231589&req=5

fig01: Overview of organisms mentioned in text: (A) light and dark phenotypes of peppered moth (Biston betularia), (B) sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), (C) Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), (D) Atlantic trout (Salmo trutta), (E) Rhône trout (Salmo rhodanensis), (F) barbel (Barbus barbus), (G) roach (Rutilus rutilus), (H) grayling (Thymallus thymallus), (I) two sympatric distinct phenotypes of sculpins (Cottus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland, (J) whitefish species pair from Lake Walen, Switzerland (male and female Coregonus duplex (top) & C. helingus (bottom)), (K) phenotype gradient in a Cichlid species pair (Pundamilia nyereri and P. pundamilia) from Lake Victoria, (L) threespine stickleback species pair from Enos Lake, BC, Canada (Gasterosteus spp.). Photograph courtesy: (A) ‘Biston.betularia.7200’ and ‘Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209’ by o.leillinger@web.de. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biston.betularia.7200.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Biston.betularia.7200.jpg & http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Biston.betularia.f.carbonaria.7209.jpg, (B) ‘Oncorhynchus nerka’ by Timothy Knepp of the Fish and Wildlife Service. – US Fish and Wildlife Service. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oncorhynchus_nerka.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Oncorhynchus_nerka.jpg, (L) Eric B. Taylor, University of British Columbia. All other photographs by the authors.
Mentions: Traditionally, evolutionary and ecological processes were assumed to work on time scales that differed by orders of magnitude (Slobodkin 1961). Hence, observed diversity in nature was assumed to be a result of a relatively ancient evolutionary past that generated diversity and contemporary ecological processes that sort it (Carroll et al. 2007). Despite the long-standing realization that ecology is the major driver of natural selection, it was only in recent years that ecologists and evolutionary biologists began to realize that ecological process can drive evolutionary change at largely overlapping time scales (Hendry and Kinnison 1999; Hendry et al. 2007). Examples include the industrial melanism, that is, rapid change in phenotypes of the peppered moth, Biston betularia (Fig.1A), in response to human-induced change in selection environment (e.g., Kettlewell 1956) and the rapid evolution of reproductive isolation between beach and river spawning ecotypes of an introduced salmon population (Hendry et al. 2000; Fig.1B). This realization has important implications for nature conservancy and ecosystem management, but it has yet to be embraced by applied biodiversity monitoring. This is urgent because there is growing evidence that the increased rate of environmental change driven by human impact can speed up evolutionary processes (Hendry et al. 2008) including in ways that cause the rapid loss of biodiversity through evolution (Seehausen 2006). Adaptation and its loss, the reversal of speciation, and even incipient speciation can occur on contemporary time scales (Hendry et al. 2007; Seehausen et al. 2008; Abbott et al. 2013; Kleindorfer et al. 2014), population recovery can be facilitated or constrained by evolutionary processes (Lancaster et al. 2006), and biological invasions are often fueled by evolutionary change within the invasive populations (Kolbe et al. 2004; Allan and Pannell 2009; Lucek et al. 2013). Collectively, this suggests that evolutionary biology should be considered a central element in practical applications such as ecological monitoring (Thompson 1998; Jørgensen et al. 2007).

Bottom Line: We argue that the lack of process-based evolutionary thinking in ecological monitoring means a significant loss of opportunity for research and conservation.Assessment of genetic and phenotypic variation within and between species needs to be fully integrated to safeguard biodiversity and the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in natural ecosystems.We illustrate our case with examples from fishes and conclude with examples of ongoing monitoring programs and provide suggestions on how to improve future quantitative diversity surveys.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Fish Ecology and Evolution, EAWAG Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Center for Ecology, Evolution and Biogeochemistry Kastanienbaum, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
While ecological monitoring and biodiversity assessment programs are widely implemented and relatively well developed to survey and monitor the structure and dynamics of populations and communities in many ecosystems, quantitative assessment and monitoring of genetic and phenotypic diversity that is important to understand evolutionary dynamics is only rarely integrated. As a consequence, monitoring programs often fail to detect changes in these key components of biodiversity until after major loss of diversity has occurred. The extensive efforts in ecological monitoring have generated large data sets of unique value to macro-scale and long-term ecological research, but the insights gained from such data sets could be multiplied by the inclusion of evolutionary biological approaches. We argue that the lack of process-based evolutionary thinking in ecological monitoring means a significant loss of opportunity for research and conservation. Assessment of genetic and phenotypic variation within and between species needs to be fully integrated to safeguard biodiversity and the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in natural ecosystems. We illustrate our case with examples from fishes and conclude with examples of ongoing monitoring programs and provide suggestions on how to improve future quantitative diversity surveys.

No MeSH data available.