By causing changes in abiotic and biotic environmental conditions, climate change generates intense natural selection in populations of many organisms. In order to stay adapted in changing environmental conditions, populations need to respond to this selection, otherwise they will be eventually faced with extinction. The adaptive responses can be of three different kinds. First, populations may restore their fitness by adapting genetically to changed conditions. Second, fitness can be restored without genetic changes through phenotypic plasticity. Third, populations may relocate to favorable environments. All these mechanisms are already at work, but not all populations and species are likely to stay adapted.
|Name||Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences.|