Certifiably-Capable Creatures Coping with Climate Change
Brakefield, P.M. and de Jong, P.W. 2011. A steep cline in ladybird melanism has decayed over 25 years: a genetic response to climate change? Heredity 107: 574-578.
Hoping to contribute to the search for genetic responses to climate change, Brakefield and de Jong report on the most recent data describing changes in a cline in the frequency of melanism morphs of the two-spot ladybird beetle, Adalia bipunctata L., along a transect that extends inland from the seacoast in the Netherlands.
At the time of the beetle's first survey in 1980, the two researchers report that "the frequency of melanics increased over some 40 km from 10% near the coast to nearly 60% inland." Additional surveys in 1991 and 1995, as they describe it, "demonstrated some progressive change in cline shape," while new samples from 1998 and 2004 confirmed these dynamics, showing that "over a period of about fifty generations of the beetle, the cline had decayed rapidly to yield rather uniform frequencies of melanic morphs at around 20% along the whole transect by 2004." And they remark that "climate data and evidence for thermal melanism in this species support [their] contention that these dynamics reflect a dramatic example of a rapid genetic response within populations to climate change and local selection."
As for the significance of their findings, Brakefield and de Jong conclude their paper by stating that their study "adds to potential examples of how some organisms are likely to be responding to climate change through direct genetic responses within populations," which is something the IPCC and other climate alarmist-based reports have failed to investigate or acknowledge.
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