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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

A climate for contemporary evolution

David Skelly

Author Affiliations

School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA

BMC Biology 2010, 8:136  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-136

Published: 11 November 2010


A new study of divergence in freshwater fish provides strong evidence of rapid, temperature-mediated adaptation. This study is particularly important in the ongoing debate over the extent and significance of evolutionary response to climate change because divergence has occurred in relatively few generations in spite of ongoing gene flow and in the aftermath of a significant genetic bottleneck, factors that have previously been considered obstacles to evolution. Climate change may thus be more likely to foster contemporary evolutionary responses than has been anticipated, and I argue here for the importance of investigating their possible occurrence.

See Research article: webcite