California is an excellent setting to observe evolution in action. Tough, flavorless tomatoes bred for supermarkets provide an example of rapid human-induced evolutionary change in a crop plant, while many California landscapes exert specific ecological pressures that have shaped their resident species for millennia. These settings include the Central Valley, the Sierra Nevada, and archipelagoes of habitat islands. A better understanding of evolution in California is necessary to inform the management of our agricultural ecosystems and conservation of our natural landscapes and the species that depend on them, many of which face uncertain futures because of human activities and climate change.
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