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"Coupled dynamics of traits and populations in response to environmental change".

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A major goal in population ecology is to predict how populations will respond to environmental change. Recent studies have highlighted rapid phenotypic changes accompanying and often preceding demographic regime shifts, indicating that a trait-based demographic approach can improve our ability to predict a population’s response to environmental change. Furthermore, these studies show that some species can adapt to environmental change more easily than others through a range of evolutionary and ecological mechanisms; understanding these differences is crucial for identifying species that are more susceptible. In this talk, I will present the links between the abiotic environment, population density, individual traits (such as body size) and demography using long-term data from two mammalian systems: Soay sheep and yellow-bellied marmots, and address the following questions: “How do populations respond demographically, ecologically and evolutionarily to environmental perturbations?”

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