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Top Story

Climate variation plays key role in evolution of plants and animals in the wild

What matters more for the evolution of plants and animals, precipitation or temperature? Scientists have found a surprising answer: rain and snow may play a more important role than how hot or cold it is. According to new research, rainfall and snowfall patterns are changing with climate variation, which likely plays a key role in shaping natural selection. An international team of researchers assembled a database of 168 published studies that measured natural selection over certain time periods for plant and animal populations worldwide. The results from the data set the scientists examined showed that between 20 and 40 percent of genetic changes could be attributed to variability in local precipitation.

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