Loss of this genetic variability or loss of evolutionary flexibility, could limit a population to respond to long term changes in the environment.
Researchers are studying the european plant Arabidopsis thaliana to find clues about how this plant is adapting to climate change. They have found genes that have been passed on to Arabidopsis that optomizes the plant's survival and reproduction in changing weather conditions. Identifying the specific favorable alleles that this plant possesses may enable researchers to learn more about the ability for other plants to adapt to climate change as well.
Primack, R.B. (2010). Essentials of Conservation Biology. Fifth ed. Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland MA.
Link to article on Arabidopsis thaliana: