Institute for Contemporary Evolution

Davis, CA, United States

Institute for Contemporary Evolution

Davis, CA, United States
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Hendry A.P.,McGill University | Kinnison M.T.,University of Maine, United States | Heino M.,University of Bergen | Heino M.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | And 15 more authors.
Evolutionary Applications | Year: 2011

Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently in these different fields, even though the underlying fundamental concepts are the same. We explore these fundamental concepts under four main themes: variation, selection, connectivity, and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Within each theme, we present several key evolutionary principles and illustrate their use in addressing applied problems. We hope that the resulting primer of evolutionary concepts and their practical utility helps to advance a unified multidisciplinary field of applied evolutionary biology. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Carroll S.P.,Institute for Contemporary Evolution | Carroll S.P.,University of California at Davis
Evolutionary Applications | Year: 2011

Biotic invaders and similar anthropogenic novelties such as domesticates, transgenics, and cancers can alter ecology and evolution in environmental, agricultural, natural resource, public health, and medical systems. The resulting biological changes may either hinder or serve management objectives. For example, biological control and eradication programs are often defeated by unanticipated resistance evolution and by irreversibility of invader impacts. Moreover, eradication may be ill-advised when nonnatives introduce beneficial functions. Thus, contexts that appear to call for eradication may instead demand managed coexistence of natives with nonnatives, and yet applied biologists have not generally considered the need to manage the eco-evolutionary dynamics that commonly result from interactions of natives with nonnatives. Here, I advocate a conciliatory approach to managing systems where novel organisms cannot or should not be eradicated. Conciliatory strategies incorporate benefits of nonnatives to address many practical needs including slowing rates of resistance evolution, promoting evolution of indigenous biological control, cultivating replacement services and novel functions, and managing native-nonnative coevolution. Evolutionary links across disciplines foster cohesion essential for managing the broad impacts of novel biotic systems. Rather than signaling defeat, conciliation biology thus utilizes the predictive power of evolutionary theory to offer diverse and flexible pathways to more sustainable outcomes. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Gildenhuys E.,Stellenbosch University | Ellis A.G.,Stellenbosch University | Carroll S.,University of California | Carroll S.,Institute for Contemporary Evolution | Le Roux J.J.,Stellenbosch University
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2015

Extreme long-distance dispersal is an important process in plant biogeography. Such events can lead to rapid diversification due to founder effects, genetic drift and novel selection in recipient environments. Balloon vines (Cardiospermum spp.) are mainly Neotropical, but include two native southern African species, the endemic desert-adapted C.pechuelii and the moist subtropical C.corindum (which also occurs in the Neotropics). We used phylogenetic approaches (internal transcribed spacer (ITS), rpl32 and trnL-trnF DNA sequencing data) and population genetics (amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analyses) to confirm the long-distance dispersal of C.corindum to southern Africa and to reveal the subsequent divergence of the morphologically and ecologically extreme but genetically close C.pechuelii. We could not judge whether incongruences between ecological requirements and morphology and gene trees for the African species resulted from ongoing gene flow or incomplete lineage sorting, but our findings do support recent divergence of C.pechuelii from C.corindum in Africa following transoceanic dispersal of the lineage. © 2015 The Linnean Society of London.

Carroll S.P.,University of California at Davis | Carroll S.P.,Institute for Contemporary Evolution | Jorgensen P.S.,Copenhagen University | Kinnison M.T.,University of Maine, United States | And 6 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens, and pests that evolve too quickly and the second, from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This Review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental, and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. Copyright © 2014 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved.

Carroll S.P.,University of California at Davis | Carroll S.P.,Institute for Contemporary Evolution | Loye J.E.,University of California at Davis
Annals of the Entomological Society of America | Year: 2012

Soapberry bugs (Hemiptera: Rhopalidae: Serinethinae) have recently colonized introduced and invasive plants in the soapberry family (Sapindaceae), and they have rapidly differentiated as a result. These plants have been carried among continents at many places and times, and they may possess alien coevolutionary histories with other soapberry bug genera and species, exposing native bugs worldwide to both new challenges and new opportunities in host exploitation. To provide geographic and phylogenetic contexts for this human-catalyzed evolution, we analyzed the worldwide host relations of the three soapberry bug genera on native versus non-native sapinds. We found that the adopted introduced hosts are taxonomically distant from native hosts in six of seven global biogeographic regions. Only a few genera account for most of the introductions, and natives and non-natives are now reciprocally distributed across several pairs of continents. The evolutionary result may be local diversification, but also global convergence on currently rare bug phenotypes when plants with small endemic ranges are widely exported. © 2012 Entomological Society of America.

Wallach A.D.,Charles Darwin University | Ripple W.J.,Oregon State University | Carroll S.P.,Institute for Contemporary Evolution | Carroll S.P.,University of California at Davis
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2015

Novel assemblages of native and introduced species characterize a growing proportion of ecosystems worldwide. Some introduced species have contributed to extinctions, even extinction waves, spurring widespread efforts to eradicate or control them. We propose that trophic cascade theory offers insights into why introduced species sometimes become harmful, but in other cases stably coexist with natives and offer net benefits. Large predators commonly limit populations of potentially irruptive prey and mesopredators, both native and introduced. This top-down force influences a wide range of ecosystem processes that often enhance biodiversity. We argue that many species, regardless of their origin or priors, are allies for the retention and restoration of biodiversity in top-down regulated ecosystems. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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