The Future of Baltic Sea Populations: Local Extinction or Evolutionary Rescue?
- 540 Downloads
Environmental change challenges local and global survival of populations and species. In a species-poor environment like the Baltic Sea this is particularly critical as major ecosystem functions may be upheld by single species. A complex interplay between demographic and genetic characteristics of species and populations determines risks of local extinction, chances of re-establishment of lost populations, and tolerance to environmental changes by evolution of new adaptations. Recent studies show that Baltic populations of dominant marine species are locally adapted, have lost genetic variation and are relatively isolated. In addition, some have evolved unusually high degrees of clonality and others are representatives of endemic (unique) evolutionary lineages. We here suggest that a consequence of local adaptation, isolation and genetic endemism is an increased risk of failure in restoring extinct Baltic populations. Additionally, restricted availability of genetic variation owing to lost variation and isolation may negatively impact the potential for evolutionary rescue following environmental change.
KeywordsBiocomplexity Endemic lineages Evolution of tolerance to contamination Genetic variation Marginal environment
We are very grateful to Michael Gilek and the organizers of the conference “Coping with Uncertainty” and to two anonymous reviewers that indicated weaknesses in an earlier version. This work was in part performed at the Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology (www.cemeb.science.gu.se) supported by the Swedish Research Councils VR and Formas. The work was in addition funded by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies (to MG and KS) and by the EU BONUS programs BaltGene and RISKGOV through EC and Formas funding.
- André, C., L.C. Larsson, L. Laikre, D. Bekkevold, J. Brigham, G.R. Carvalho, T.G. Dahlgren, and W.F. Hutchinson et al. 2010. Detecting population structure in a high gene-flow species, Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus): Direct, simultaneous evaluation of neutral versus putatively selected loci. Heredity doi: 10.1038/hdy.2010.71.
- Berggren, P., L. Hiby, P. Lovell, and M. Scheidat. 2004. Abundance of harbour porpoises in the Baltic Sea from aerial surveys conducted in summer 2002. Paper SC/56/SM7. International Whaling Commission, Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
- Elmgren, R., and C. Hill. 1997. Ecosystem function at low biodiversity—the Baltic example. In Marine biodiversity patterns and processes, ed. R.F.G. Ormond, J.D. Gage, and M.V. Angel, 319–336. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Gaggiotti, O.E., D. Bekkevold, H.B.H. Jørgensen, M. Foll, G.R. Carvalho, C. André, and D.E. Ruzzante. 2009. Disentangling the effects of evolutionary, demographic, and environmental factors influencing genetic structure of natural populations: Atlantic herring as a case study. Evolution 63: 2939–2951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jansson, B.O., and K.K. Dahlberg. 1999. The environmental status of the Baltic Sea in the 1940s, today and in the future. AMBIO 28: 312–319.Google Scholar
- Millenium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Biodiversity Synthesis. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Väinölä, R., and S.L. Varvio. 1989. Biosystematics of Macoma balthica in north-western Europe. In Reproduction, genetics and distribution of marine organisms, ed. J.S. Ryland, and A. Tyler, 309–316. Fredensborg: Olsen & Olsen.Google Scholar
- Van Doorslaer, W., J. Vanoverbeke, C. Duvivier, S. Rousseaux, M. Jansen, B. Jans, H. Feuchtmayr, D. Atkinson, et al. 2009. Low adaptation to higher temperatures reduces immigration success of genotypes from a warmer region in the water flea Daphnia. Global Change Biology 15: 3046–3055.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wiemann, A., L.W. Andersen, P. Berggren, U. Siebert, H. Benke, J. Teilmann, C. Lockyer, I. Pawliczka, et al. 2010. Mitochondrial control region and microsatellite analyses on harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) unravel population differentiation in the Baltic Sea and adjacent waters. Conservation Genetics 11: 195–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Williams, S.L., and K.L. Heck. 2001. Seagrass community ecology. In Marine community ecology, ed. M.D. Bertness, et al., 317–338. Sunderland: Sinauer.Google Scholar
- Wirgin, I., and J.R. Waldman. 2004. Resistance to contaminants in North American fish populations. Mutation Research 552: 73–100.Google Scholar