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The fitness costs of adaptation via phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects

Ezard, THG, Prizak, R and Hoyle, RB (2014) The fitness costs of adaptation via phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects Functional Ecology.

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Abstract

Phenotypes are often environmentally dependent, which requires organisms to track environmental change. The challenge for organisms is to construct phenotypes using the most accurate environmental cue. Here, we use a quantitative genetic model of adaptation by additive genetic variance, within- and transgenerational plasticity via linear reaction norms and indirect genetic effects respectively. We show how the relative influence on the eventual phenotype of these components depends on the predictability of environmental change (fast or slow, sinusoidal or stochastic) and the developmental lag τ between when the environment is perceived and when selection acts. We then decompose expected mean fitness into three components (variance load, adaptation and fluctuation load) to study the fitness costs of within- and transgenerational plasticity. A strongly negative maternal effect coefficient m minimizes the variance load, but a strongly positive m minimises the fluctuation load. The adaptation term is maximized closer to zero, with positive or negative m preferred under different environmental scenarios. Phenotypic plasticity is higher when τ is shorter and when the environment changes frequently between seasonal extremes. Expected mean population fitness is highest away from highest observed levels of phenotypic plasticity. Within- and transgenerational plasticity act in concert to deliver well-adapted phenotypes, which emphasizes the need to study both simultaneously when investigating phenotypic evolution. © 2013 British Ecological Society.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Ezard, THGUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Prizak, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hoyle, RBUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2014
Identification Number : 10.1111/1365-2435.12207
Additional Information : Copyright 2013 The Authors. Functional Ecology. Copyright 2013 British Ecological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 19 Aug 2014 13:59
Last Modified : 13 Sep 2014 01:34
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/805209

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