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1 March 2011 The Future of Baltic Sea Populations: Local Extinction or Evolutionary Rescue?
Kerstin Johannesson, Katarzyna Smolarz, Mats Grahn, Carl André
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Abstract

Environmental change challenges local and global survival of populations and species. In a species-poor environment like the Baltic Sea this is particularly critical as major ecosystem functions may be upheld by single species. A complex interplay between demographic and genetic characteristics of species and populations determines risks of local extinction, chances of re-establishment of lost populations, and tolerance to environmental changes by evolution of new adaptations. Recent studies show that Baltic populations of dominant marine species are locally adapted, have lost genetic variation and are relatively isolated. In addition, some have evolved unusually high degrees of clonality and others are representatives of endemic (unique) evolutionary lineages. We here suggest that a consequence of local adaptation, isolation and genetic endemism is an increased risk of failure in restoring extinct Baltic populations. Additionally, restricted availability of genetic variation owing to lost variation and isolation may negatively impact the potential for evolutionary rescue following environmental change.

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011
Kerstin Johannesson, Katarzyna Smolarz, Mats Grahn, and Carl André "The Future of Baltic Sea Populations: Local Extinction or Evolutionary Rescue?," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 40(2), 179-190, (1 March 2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-010-0129-X
Published: 1 March 2011
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Biocomplexity
Endemic lineages
Evolution of tolerance to contamination
genetic variation
Marginal environment
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