Melanin-based colour responses to climate change. A case study with snowfinches

Environmental changes due to global warming are so fast that organisms need plastic phenotypes to be adapted to the new environmental conditions. Evidences are accumulating that climate change may change the frequency of melanin-based colour morphs in many animals. Yet, melanin-based colouration responses to climate changes are not easily predictable, and evidences for these adaptations have received little supports. This is a pertinent question, since melanin-based colouration itself influences individual fitness directly but also because genes implicated in the production of melanin pigments have effects on the resistance to stressful factors.

This project aims at understanding the influence of climate change on the pace of eco-evolutionary processes and thus focuses on a major challenge in environmental research. It is based on acquiring and analysing a data set on melanin-based colours of snowfinches as a potentially major component involved in adaptation to climate warming.


Founded by: bes-logo British Ecological Society