Abstract

Recognition that evolution operates on the same timescale as ecological processes has motivated growing interest in eco-evolutionary dynamics. Nonetheless, generating sufficient data to test predictions about eco-evolutionary dynamics has proved challenging, particularly in natural contexts. Here we argue that genomic data can be integrated into the study of eco-evolutionary dynamics in ways that deepen our understanding of the interplay between ecology and evolution. Specifically, we outline five major questions in the study of eco-evolutionary dynamics for which genomic data may provide answers. Although genomic data alone will not be sufficient to resolve these challenges, integrating genomic data can provide a more mechanistic understanding of the causes of phenotypic change, help elucidate the mechanisms driving eco-evolutionary dynamics, and lead to more accurate evolutionary predictions of eco-evolutionary dynamics in nature.

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Acknowledgements

The paper was conceived during a Monte Verita conference on ‘The Genomic Basis of Eco-Evolutionary Change’ organized by the Centre for Adaptation to a Changing Environment (ACE) at ETH Zürich. We thank the Congressi Stefano Franscini and ETH Zürich for funding and supporting the meeting.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

    • Seth M. Rudman
    •  & Paul S. Schmidt
  2. Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

    • Matthew A. Barbour
    •  & Frederic Guillaume
  3. Adaptation to a Changing Environment, ETH Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

    • Katalin Csilléry
    •  & Martin M. Turcotte
  4. Department of Animal Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands

    • Phillip Gienapp
  5. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

    • Nelson G. Hairston Jr
  6. Redpath Museum and Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    • Andrew P. Hendry
  7. Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

    • Jesse R. Lasky
  8. Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

    • Marina Rafajlović
  9. Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology, University of Gothenburg, Tjärnö, Strömstad, Sweden

    • Marina Rafajlović
  10. Department of Aquatic Ecology/ETH-Zurich, Eawag, Institute of Integrative Biology, Duebendorf, Switzerland

    • Katja Räsänen
  11. Department of Fish Ecology and Evolution, Eawag, Center for Ecology, Evolution and Biogeochemistry, Kastanienbaum, Switzerland

    • Ole Seehausen
  12. Aquatic Ecology and Evolution, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

    • Ole Seehausen
  13. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

    • Nina O. Therkildsen
  14. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

    • Martin M. Turcotte
  15. Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

    • Jonathan M. Levine

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Contributions

S.M.R. assembled the first draft of the manuscript based on contributions from all authors. All authors provided revisions.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Seth M. Rudman.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0385-2