Researchers: Loss of genetic variation means species are less adaptable to climate change

phys.org | 8/13/2019 | Staff
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Queen's University researcher Vicki Friesen (Biology) and former postdoctoral fellow Debbie Leigh are sounding the alarm over the increasing loss of the genetic variation that allows species to adapt to the rapid and drastic environmental changes being generated by human activity.

Genetic variation is part of what makes individuals different. In plants and animals this can lead to differences in how they look as well as important differences in migration behavior, flowering time, or reproductive success. These differences within a species allow for adaptation to change.

Drs - Friesen - Leigh - Research - Variation

Drs. Friesen and Leigh's research has shown that genetic variation within species has declined by six percent since the industrial revolution, which means species are less adaptable to climate change and, therefore, more vulnerable to extinction.

"We are losing populations, and, in some cases, we are losing entire species," Dr. Friesen says. "Loss of genetic variation increases...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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