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Moving beyond heritability in the search for coral adaptive potential

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Adriana Humanes Schumann



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2023 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Global environmental change is happening at unprecedented rates. Coral reefs are among the ecosystems most threatened by global change. For wild populations to persist, they must adapt. Knowledge shortfalls about corals' complex ecological and evolutionary dynamics, however, stymie predictions about potential adaptation to future conditions. Here, we review adaptation through the lens of quantitative genetics. We argue that coral adaptation studies can benefit greatly from “wild” quantitative genetic methods, where traits are studied in wild populations undergoing natural selection, genomic relationship matrices can replace breeding experiments, and analyses can be extended to examine genetic constraints among traits. In addition, individuals with advantageous genotypes for anticipated future conditions can be identified. Finally, genomic genotyping supports simultaneous consideration of how genetic diversity is arrayed across geographic and environmental distances, providing greater context for predictions of phenotypic evolution at a metapopulation scale.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richards TJ, McGuigan K, Aguirre JD, Humanes A, Bozec Y-M, Mumby PJ, Riginos C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Global Change Biology

Year: 2023

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 14/04/2023

Acceptance date: 04/04/2023

Date deposited: 22/05/2023

ISSN (print): 1354-1013

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2486

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc


DOI: 10.1111/gcb.16719


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