Evolution as an ecosystem process: Insights from genomics

Blake Matthews, Rebecca J. Best, Philine G.D. Feulner, Anita Narwani, Romana Limberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Evolution is a fundamental ecosystem process. The study of genomic variation of organisms can not only improve our understanding of evolutionary processes, but also of contemporary and future ecosystem dynamics. We argue that integrative research between the fields of genomics and ecosystem ecology could generate new insights. Specifically, studies of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, evolutionary rescue, and eco-evolutionary dynamics could all benefit from information about variation in genome structure and the genetic architecture of traits, whereas genomic studies could benefit from information about the ecological context of evolutionary dynamics. We propose new ways to help link research on functional genomic diversity with (reciprocal) interactions between phenotypic evolution and ecosystem change. Despite numerous challenges, we anticipate that the wealth of genomic data being collected on natural populations will improve our understanding of ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-309
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2018


  • Eco-evolutionary dynamics
  • Ecosystem function
  • Evolutionary rescue
  • Genomics
  • Hybridization
  • Phenotypic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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