Evolutionary responses to changing environmental conditions
Advancing understanding of how genetic variation and evolution shape ecological dynamics is of pressing importance for a society that values the natural environment and depends on the ecosystem services it provides. This is especially so given the potential role of rapid evolution in mediating species responses to anthropogenic changes of global climate, land use, and the pool of species transported across the planet. For example, predicting whether species adapt or go extinct with ongoing climate change requires a better understanding of evolution’s role in shaping species responses to changing environments, a central goal of ACE. Rapid evolution can be a key process in shaping the distribution of species, the outcome of biological invasions, and the persistence of entire ecosystems when the survival of key players is at stake.