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Little Adaptive Potential in a Threatened Passerine Bird

February 2019

Publication: Current Biology
Author(s): de Villemereuil P, Rutschmann A, Lee KD, Ewen JG, Brekke P, & Santure AW.

Threatened species face numerous threats, including future challenges triggered by global change. A possible way to cope with these challenges is through adaptive evolution, which requires adaptive potential. Adaptive potential is defined as the genetic variance needed to respond to selection and can be assessed either on adaptive traits or fitness. However, a lack of high-quality data has made it difficult to rigorously test adaptive potential in threatened species, leading to controversy over its magnitude. In this paper we assess the adaptive potential of a threatened New Zealand passerine (the hihi, Notiomystis cincta).

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