Abstracts (first author)
Evolutionary rescue in structured populations
As a consequence of environmental deterioration, a population might become maladapted and risk extinction unless it succeeds in adapting to the new conditions. How likely is it that a population escapes extinction through adaptive evolution? Modeling a population in a degrading structured habitat, we analyze the impact of several ecological factors on its survival probability and determine the relative contribution of standing genetic variation and new mutations to evolutionary rescue. We find that in the interplay of various, partially antagonistic effects, the probability of evolutionary rescue can show non-trivial and unexpected dependence on ecological characteristics. The rate of gene flow affects the fate of the population in several ways, resulting in a complex and non-monotonic relationship between migration rate and rescue probability. Counterintuitively, a harsher change or an instantaneous degradation of the total habitat can sometimes lead to a higher survival probability than a less severe or a slowly progressing change.