Chernobyl's birds adapting to ionizing radiation
. "Laboratory experiments have shown that humans and other animals can adapt to radiation, and that prolonged exposure to low doses of radiation increases organisms' resistance to larger, subsequent doses. This adaptation, however, has never been seen outside the laboratory in wild populations."Extinction Events That Almost Wiped Out Humans
. "The really interesting thing about a population bottleneck is the effect it has on evolution. With a small population, mutations get passed through a very large percentage of the species' members. Detrimental mutations could be devastating and lead to outright extinction. Beneficial mutations, however, could cause fairly fast shifts in the population."From Arid, Salty Desert to Permaculture Garden: Greening the Desert Revisited
(note: not a lot of data; still dependent on intermittent rainfall) ( Some thoughts on desertification, briefly )
ETA 1: Salt-tolerant plants for the US Southwest
- some of these plants are North America-specific, but, for instance, acacia is endemic to Australia and has edible seeds and shoots. (In fact, they're so salt-tolerant that they're an invasive plant in salinizing parts of the US). I just fell down a deep research rabbithole about bush tucker. The upshot: there are a lot of plants that will put up with a lot in their growing conditions, though they often get their revenge by being full of cyanide and requiring laborious leeching to eat.
ETA 2: Plants and animals of the Namib Desert (so closer to the actual filming location). Oh my god, fog beetles. What an interesting planet.