Can phenotypic plasticity cause evolution?

For instance, although it is generally acknowledged that phenotypic plasticity can increase organism survival under specific conditions, there is no general agreement on whether plasticity can drive the evolution of novel traits and promote taxonomic diversity, or on whether it has more often the effect of accelerating …

What is the evolutionary significance of phenotype plasticity?

Many organisms have the ability to express different phenotypes in response to environmental conditions. Such phenotypic plasticity allows individual organisms to develop appropriate morphological, physiological, or behavioral traits that better fit a particular environment that they encounter.

How does phenotypic plasticity influence evolutionary trajectories?

Phenotypic plasticity promotes persistence in a new environment. A change in the environment can release cryptic genetic variation via phenotypic plasticity, in turn impacting the rate of evolutionary responses.

Under what conditions might phenotypic plasticity not evolve and why?

Under conditions in which plasticity is favored, an evolutionary response via phenotypic plasticity can be hindered by a lack of genetic variation (for example, through small population size or genetic drift), extensive gene flow and genetic correlation between genes for one trait and genes for plasticity of another …

How does phenotypic plasticity affect natural selection?

By reducing the response to selection, phenotypic plasticity may promote the maintenance of genetic diversity within a population. If individuals have plastic traits, they can adjust their phenotypes to the environment.

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Why does phenotypic plasticity occur?

Such phenotypic plasticity in morphology or behavior has generally evolved as a response to varying environmental conditions and allows individuals or genotypes to adjust their phenotypes so that they can track the varying environmental optimum.

Is phenotypic plasticity always adaptive?

Organisms are faced with variable environments and one of the most common solutions to cope with such variability is phenotypic plasticity, a modification of the phenotype to the environment. … We caution against general expectations that plasticity is adaptive, as assumed by many models of its evolution.

What are three ways to study the evolution of phenotypic plasticity?

The evolution of plasticity is modeled in three ways: optimality models, quantitative genetic models, and gametic models.

Is phenotypic plasticity reversible?

Any change in behavior can be viewed as phenotypic plasticity (SIH 2004) and is very often reversible; but also morphological traits can be reversible, for ex- ample, in perch (OLSSON & EkLöV 2005) or Daphnia (FRANk 2005).

Is tanning phenotypic plasticity?

The genotype codes for a mechanism that is able to express different phenotypes (organs, behaviors) in response to detectable and recurring changes in the environment. Tanning is a case in point. … However, recent research in neuroscience, ecology and psychology has shown that phenotypic plasticity extends to behaviors.

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