Kiyoko Gotanda

Postdoctoral fellow | Postdoctorant.e
The pace of life (slow vs. fast) can have strong effects on demographic or vital rates such as reproduction, growth, and survival, which in turn can affects population growth. Species with fast life histories tend to have more variation in survival and reproduction, and thus their vital rates, compared to long-lived species which can lead to unstable population growth and dynamics. Because vital rates such as survival and reproduction can be affected by genetically based traits such as body size, vital rates are both targets and agents of evolutionary change. Thus, we can make predictions about the amount of phenotypic change we might expect based on species' pace of life. As long-lived species are generally buffered against environmental variation, we expect slow life history species to show lower trait changes in response to human-driven activities compare to fast lived species. Using a global database of phenotypic rates of change, I investigate which traits might or might not change more based on the species' pace of life. I also look at how different human influences such as hunting or invasions might affect phenotypic rates of change for different traits. Results suggest that species with slow life histories have lower rates of phenotypic change and the type of human influence plays a role in these relationships. Establishing general predictions about the evolutionary outcome of human driven activities is not a simple task but can be illuminating in our understanding of patterns and processes of evolution.