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  1. Small pelagic fish support some of the largest fisheries globally, yet there is an ongoing debate about the magnitude of the impacts of environmental processes and fishing activities on target species. We use a nonparametric, nonlinear approach to quantify these effects on the Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) in the Gulf of California. We show that the effect of fishing pressure and environmental variability are comparable. Furthermore, when predicting total catches, the best models account for both drivers. By using empirical dynamic programming with average environmental conditions, we calculated optimal policies to ensure long-term sustainable fisheries. The first policy, the equilibrium maximum sustainable yield, suggests that the fishery could sustain an annual catch of ∼2.16 × 10 5 tonnes. The second policy with dynamic optimal effort, reveals that the effort from 2 to 4 years ago impacts the current maximum sustainable effort. Consecutive years of high effort require a reduction to let the stock recover. Our work highlights a new framework that embraces the complex processes that drive fisheries population dynamics yet produces simple and robust advice to ensure long-term sustainable fisheries.
  2. The seasonal timing of seed germination determines a plant’s realized environmental niche, and is important for adaptation to climate. The timing of seasonal germination depends on patterns of seed dormancy release or induction by cold and interacts with flowering-time variation to construct different seasonal life histories. To characterize the genetic basis and climatic associations of natural variation in seed chilling responses and associated life-history syndromes, we selected 559 fully sequenced accessions of the model annual species Arabidopsis thaliana from across a wide climate range and scored each for seed germination across a range of 13 cold stratification treatments, as well as the timing of flowering and senescence. Germination strategies varied continuously along 2 major axes: 1) Overall germination fraction and 2) induction vs. release of dormancy by cold. Natural variation in seed responses to chilling was correlated with flowering time and senescence to create a range of seasonal life-history syndromes. Genome-wide association identified several loci associated with natural variation in seed chilling responses, including a known functional polymorphism in the self-binding domain of the candidate gene DOG1. A phylogeny of DOG1 haplotypes revealed ancient divergence of these functional variants associated with periods of Pleistocene climate change, and Gradient Forest analysismore »showed that allele turnover of candidate SNPs was significantly associated with climate gradients. These results provide evidence that A. thaliana ’s germination niche and correlated life-history syndromes are shaped by past climate cycles, as well as local adaptation to contemporary climate.« less