Sunday, 26 May 2019

Climate change has long-term impact on species adaptability


 MAY 20, 2019
Historic climate change events can have a lasting impact on the genetic diversity of a species, reveals a new study published in Current Biology. This unexpected finding emerged from an analysis of the alpine marmot's genome.
An iconic animal known to tourists and mountaineers, the alpine marmot is a large rodent exquisitely adapted to cold climates. Since the disappearance of its ice-age habitat, the alpine marmot has resided in high-altitude meadows in the Alps.
In this new study co-led by the Francis Crick Institute, an international team of scientists sequenced the genomes of alpine marmots living in three sites in the French and Italian Alps, and found that the animal's genetic diversity is among the lowest of wild mammals. By reconstructing the marmot's genetic past with the help of fossil records, they discovered that it lost its genetic diversity during the last ice age as a consequence of multiple climate related adaptations.

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