Population Genetics and Demography Unite Ecology and Evolution

Winsor H. Lowe, Ryan P. Kovach, Fred W. Allendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The interplay of ecology and evolution has been a rich area of research for decades. A surge of interest in this area was catalyzed by the observation that evolution by natural selection can operate at the same contemporary timescales as ecological dynamics. Specifically, recent eco-evolutionary research focuses on how rapid adaptation influences ecology, and vice versa. Evolution by non-adaptive forces also occurs quickly, with ecological consequences, but understanding the full scope of ecology–evolution (eco–evo) interactions requires explicitly addressing population-level processes – genetic and demographic. We show the strong ecological effects of non-adaptive evolutionary forces and, more broadly, the value of population-level research for gaining a mechanistic understanding of eco–evo interactions. The breadth of eco-evolutionary research should expand to incorporate the breadth of evolution itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • demography
  • density dependence
  • dispersal
  • genetic drift
  • genetics
  • natural selection


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