A better understanding of the ability of organisms to adapt to local selection conditions is essential for a better insight in their ecological dynamics. The study of micro-evolutionary adaptation and its eco-evolutionary consequences is challenging for many reasons and the choice of a suitable model organism is particularly important. In this paper, we explain why monogonont rotifers, through their unique combination of traits, are ideal study organisms for this purpose. With a literature review, we demonstrate the capacity of monogonont populations to adapt to a variety of selection conditions (e.g., salinity, food shortage, elemental limitation, and disturbance regimes) within very short-time frames and highlight some potential eco-evolutionary implications. Although monogononts are increasingly used in eco-evolution-oriented studies, their potential is still underappreciated compared to other model organisms. No doubt the high prevalence of cryptic species complexes and the lack of genomic tools form important obstacles that may discourage researchers to work with this group. Here, we argue that none of these difficulties should prevent monogonont rotifers from becoming commonly used model organisms in micro-evolutionary studies and make suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-144
Issue number1
Early online date06 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • NIOO

ID: 1874956