Evolutionary Response to Environmental Change in Sockeye Salmon
Crozier, L.G., Scheuerell, M.D. and Zabel, R.W. 2011. Using time series analysis to characterize evolutionary and plastic responses to environmental change: A case study of a shift toward earlier migration date in sockeye salmon. The American Naturalist 178: 755-773.
Based on their analysis, the three researchers from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington (USA) determined that "an evolutionary response to thermal selection was capable of explaining up to two-thirds of the phenotypic trend" they observed, while "adaptive plastic responses to June river flow explain most of the remainder."
In discussing their findings, Crozier et al. note that the amount of evolutionary change they calculated to have taken place in the situation they studied "is typical of numerous studies of contemporary evolution," citing Hendry and Kinnison (1999) and Kingsolver et al. (2001). And they suggest that evolutionary change "will play an important role in protecting species from extinction during ongoing climate change, as demonstrated in recent simulations of evolution in Fraser River sockeye salmon," citing Reed et al. (2011). Last of all, they conclude by voicing their opinion that "directional environmental changes are very likely to induce more rapid evolution in the future."
Hendry, A.P. and Kinnison, M.T. 1999. Perspective: the pace of modern life: measuring rates of contemporary microevolution. Evolution 53: 1637-1653.
Kingsolver, J.G., Hoekstra, H.E., Hoekstra, J.M., Berrigan, D., Vignieri, S.N., Hill, C.E., Hoang, A., Gibert, P. and Beerli, P. 2001. The strength of phenotypic selection in natural populations. American Naturalist 157: 245-261.
Reed, T.E., Schindler, D., Hague, M., Paterson, D., Meir, E., Waples, R.S. and Hinch, S. 2011. Time to evolve? Potential evolutionary responses of Fraser River sockeye salmon to climate change and effects on persistence. PLoS ONE 6: e20380.