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Dataset for: No evidence for short-term evolutionary response to a warming environment in Drosophila

Cite this dataset

Simões, Pedro et al. (2021). Dataset for: No evidence for short-term evolutionary response to a warming environment in Drosophila [Dataset]. Dryad.


Adaptive evolution is key in mediating responses to global warming and may sometimes be the only solution for species to survive. Such evolution will expectedly lead to changes in the populations’ thermal reaction norm and improve their ability to cope with stressful conditions. Conversely, evolutionary constraints might limit the adaptive response. Here, we test these expectations by performing a real-time evolution experiment in historically differentiated Drosophila subobscura populations. We address the phenotypic change after nine generations of evolution in a daily fluctuating environment with average constant temperature, or in a warming environment with increasing average and amplitude temperature across generations. Our results showed that (1) evolution under a global warming scenario did not lead to a noticeable change in the thermal response; (2) historical background appears to be affecting responses under the warming environment, particularly at higher temperatures; (3) thermal reaction norms are trait-dependent: while lifelong exposure to low temperature decreases fecundity and productivity but not viability, high temperature causes negative transgenerational effects on productivity and viability, even with high fecundity. These findings in such an emblematic organism for thermal adaptation studies raise concerns about the short-term efficiency of adaptive responses to the current rising temperatures.


Data corresponds to a phenotypic assay performed on experimental populations after 9 generations of evolution in different thermal selection regimes. Assay included populations from 3 thermal selection regimes (each three fold replicated) tested in 5 temperature treatments.  Raw data is the mean value for each replicate population and temperature treatment (e.g., the mean of PT1 for the 14-14 treatment is one of the three data values for PT in this treatment). 


Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Award: PTDC/BIA-EVL/28298/2017

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Award: UIDB/BIA/00329/2020

Ministerio de Asuntos Económicos y Transformación Digital, Award: CGL2017-89160P

Government of Catalonia, Award: 2017SGR 1379