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BartonSpringsSalamander_Change_Dries_Laurie_MooresburgTN_26October2023_Reel4178.mp3

Laurie Dries [00:00:00] If you don't understand how you got somewhere, it's going to be pretty hard to predict where you're going, and it's going to be pretty hard to predict what might happen if you change what you're doing.

Laurie Dries [00:00:16] So, to put that in a more scientific context, if they've evolved to variation in their environment, and they've evolved to whatever that environment is, and every environment is dynamic - you know, every ecosystem has some sort of change that's always going on in it. You know, nothing is static on this earth.

Laurie Dries [00:00:35] So, if you've had hundreds of thousands of years of a certain range of variation that they are adapted to, and then humans come in and change that in a very short amount of time, it's nearly impossible then for the species to adapt to that new set of conditions in the environment because it changed too fast.

Laurie Dries [00:00:59] So, if you understand what happened naturally, I think it can give you a real perspective on how fast the environment can change, due to whatever humans are doing, and have the species persist, and have the species be able to adapt to whatever the new conditions are.

Laurie Dries [00:01:18] So, they can evolve to new conditions as long as there's enough genetic variation, if there are enough individuals around.

Laurie Dries [00:01:24] But, if you change that environment so quickly that generations can't survive, they can't adapt.

Laurie Dries [00:01:32] So, you sort of have to understand the time scales of evolution and be able to look at what's changing through that lens to then be able to predict what might be the consequences for the species.

Laurie Dries [00:01:47] So, it might be good, it might be bad. But you'd want to know.

Laurie Dries [00:01:51] And if it's an endangered species, you're trying to avoid having them go extinct because of humans.

Laurie Dries [00:01:58] Pretty hard to figure that out if you don't look at the past.