Meeting Abstract

S4-12  Friday, Jan. 6 15:00 - 15:30  Evolutionary impacts of seasonality: synthesis and directions forward WILLIAMS, Caroline M*; RAGLAND, Gregory J; U California, Berkeley; U Colorado, Denver

Organisms living in seasonal environments experience fluctuating selection pressures that influence their ecology and physiology, and drive their evolution. Classic work by Dobzhansky and early researchers identified seasonal fluctuations as a potentially important mechanism maintaining genetic polymorphism in natural populations, and studies of seasonal polyphenism and phenology have advanced our understanding of life history evolution. Evolutionary and ecological responses to seasonality can be very rapid, and predicting such responses to contemporary climate change is a pressing concern. Recent advances in the field are moving towards greater understanding of the impacts of seasonality on genomic and physiological evolution, promising to illuminate the importance of seasonality in generating adaptation and constraining evolution. These advances promise more realistic, empirically informed models of biological responses to changing seasonality. Yet, achieving this goal requires interdisciplinary approaches that can identify some rules that predict what types of genetic and ecological changes we might expect from a change in a given environmental driver. The symposium Evolutionary Impacts of Seasonality brings together a diverse array of research approaches and study systems to work towards such integrative models. We will synthesize the approaches and conclusions of these and other recent studies in this area, highlighting transformative questions emerging from research across organisms, and suggesting how this research can best be integrated, conceptually and quantitatively.