The fitness costs of adaptation via phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects

T. Ezard, R. Prizak, R. Hoyle, Functional Ecology 28 (2014) 693–701.

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Journal Article | Published | English
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Abstract
Summary: 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.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2014-06-01
Journal Title
Functional Ecology
Acknowledgement
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Grant Number: EP/H031928/1
Volume
28
Issue
3
Page
693 - 701
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Ezard T, Prizak R, Hoyle R. The fitness costs of adaptation via phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects. Functional Ecology. 2014;28(3):693-701. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.12207
Ezard, T., Prizak, R., & Hoyle, R. (2014). The fitness costs of adaptation via phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects. Functional Ecology, 28(3), 693–701. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12207
Ezard, Thomas, Roshan Prizak, and Rebecca Hoyle. “The Fitness Costs of Adaptation via Phenotypic Plasticity and Maternal Effects.” Functional Ecology 28, no. 3 (2014): 693–701. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12207.
T. Ezard, R. Prizak, and R. Hoyle, “The fitness costs of adaptation via phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects,” Functional Ecology, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 693–701, 2014.
Ezard T, Prizak R, Hoyle R. 2014. The fitness costs of adaptation via phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects. Functional Ecology. 28(3), 693–701.
Ezard, Thomas, et al. “The Fitness Costs of Adaptation via Phenotypic Plasticity and Maternal Effects.” Functional Ecology, vol. 28, no. 3, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014, pp. 693–701, doi:10.1111/1365-2435.12207.
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