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Notes from a snail island: Littorinid evolution and adaptation

Ravinet, Mark
Molecular ecology 2018 v.27 no.13 pp. 2781-2789
ecology, genomics, heat tolerance, life history, parallel evolution, sexual selection, snails, taxonomy, technology, Sweden
The most successful study systems are built on a foundation of decades of research on the basic biology, ecology and life history of the organisms in question. Combined with new technologies, this can provide a formidable means to address important issues in evolutionary biology and molecular ecology. Littorinid marine snails are a good example of this, with a rich literature on their taxonomy, speciation, thermal tolerance and behavioural adaptations. In August 2017, an international meeting on Littorinid evolution was held at the Tjärnö Marine Research Laboratory in Western Sweden. In this meeting review, I provide a summary of some of the exciting work on parallel evolution, sexual selection and adaptation to environmental stress presented there. I argue that newly available genomic resources present an opportunity for integrating the traditionally divergent fields of speciation and environmental adaptation in Littorinid research.