Modeling effects of environmental change on wolf population dynamics, trait evolution, and life history

Tim Coulson, Daniel R. MacNulty, Daniel R. Stahler, Bridgett VonHoldt, Robert K. Wayne, Douglas W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Scopus citations

Abstract

Environmental change has been observed to generate simultaneous responses in population dynamics, life history, gene frequencies, and morphology in a number of species. But how common are such eco-evolutionary responses to environmental change likely to be? Are they inevitable, or do they require a specific type of change? Can we accurately predict eco-evolutionary responses? We address these questions using theory and data from the study of Yellowstone wolves. We show that environmental change is expected to generate eco-evolutionary change, that changes in the average environment will affect wolves to a greater extent than changes in how variable it is, and that accurate prediction of the consequences of environmental change will probably prove elusive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1275-1278
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume334
Issue number6060
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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    Coulson, T., MacNulty, D. R., Stahler, D. R., VonHoldt, B., Wayne, R. K., & Smith, D. W. (2011). Modeling effects of environmental change on wolf population dynamics, trait evolution, and life history. Science, 334(6060), 1275-1278. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1209441