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Data from: Evolutionary tracking is determined by differential selection on demographic rates and density dependence.


Vinton, Anna; Vasseur, David (2021), Data from: Evolutionary tracking is determined by differential selection on demographic rates and density dependence., Dryad, Dataset,


Recent ecological forecasts predict that ~25% of species worldwide will go extinct by 2050. However, these estimates are primarily based on environmental changes alone, and fail to incorporate important biological mechanisms such as genetic adaptation via evolution. Thus, environmental change can affect population dynamics in ways that classical frameworks can neither describe nor predict. Furthermore, often due to a lack of data, forecasting models commonly describe changes in population demography by summarizing changes in fecundity and survival concurrently with the intrinsic growth rate (r). This has been shown to be an oversimplification as the environment may impose selective pressure on specific demographic rates (birth and death) rather than directly on r (the difference between the birth and death rates). This differential pressure may alter population response to density, in each demographic rate, further diluting the information combined to produce r. Thus, when we consider the potential for persistence via adaptive evolution, populations with the same r can have different abilities to persist amidst environmental change. Therefore we can't adequately forecast population response to climate change without accounting for demography, and selection on density dependence. Using a continuous-time Markov chain model to describe the stochastic dynamics of the logistic model of population growth and allow for trait evolution via mutations arising during birth events, we find persistence via evolutionary tracking more likely when environmental change alters birth rather than the death rate. Furthermore, species that evolve responses to changes in the strength of density dependence due to environmental change are less vulnerable to extinction than species that undergo selection independent of population density. By incorporating these key demographic considerations into our predictive models we can better understand how species will respond to climate change.