Surfing on the seascape: Adaptation in a changing environment

B. Trubenova, M. Krejca, P.K. Lehre, T. Kötzing, Evolution 73 (2019) 1356–1374.

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Journal Article | Published | English
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Abstract
The environment changes constantly at various time scales and, in order to survive, species need to keep adapting. Whether these species succeed in avoiding extinction is a major evolutionary question. Using a multilocus evolutionary model of a mutation‐limited population adapting under strong selection, we investigate the effects of the frequency of environmental fluctuations on adaptation. Our results rely on an “adaptive‐walk” approximation and use mathematical methods from evolutionary computation theory to investigate the interplay between fluctuation frequency, the similarity of environments, and the number of loci contributing to adaptation. First, we assume a linear additive fitness function, but later generalize our results to include several types of epistasis. We show that frequent environmental changes prevent populations from reaching a fitness peak, but they may also prevent the large fitness loss that occurs after a single environmental change. Thus, the population can survive, although not thrive, in a wide range of conditions. Furthermore, we show that in a frequently changing environment, the similarity of threats that a population faces affects the level of adaptation that it is able to achieve. We check and supplement our analytical results with simulations.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2019-07-01
Journal Title
Evolution
Acknowledgement
The authors would like to thank to Tiago Paixao and Nick Barton for useful comments and advice.
Volume
73
Issue
7
Page
1356-1374
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Trubenova B, Krejca M, Lehre PK, Kötzing T. Surfing on the seascape: Adaptation in a changing environment. Evolution. 2019;73(7):1356-1374. doi:10.1111/evo.13784
Trubenova, B., Krejca, M., Lehre, P. K., & Kötzing, T. (2019). Surfing on the seascape: Adaptation in a changing environment. Evolution, 73(7), 1356–1374. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13784
Trubenova, Barbora, Martin Krejca, Per Kristian Lehre, and Timo Kötzing. “Surfing on the Seascape: Adaptation in a Changing Environment.” Evolution 73, no. 7 (2019): 1356–74. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13784.
B. Trubenova, M. Krejca, P. K. Lehre, and T. Kötzing, “Surfing on the seascape: Adaptation in a changing environment,” Evolution, vol. 73, no. 7, pp. 1356–1374, 2019.
Trubenova B, Krejca M, Lehre PK, Kötzing T. 2019. Surfing on the seascape: Adaptation in a changing environment. Evolution. 73(7), 1356–1374.
Trubenova, Barbora, et al. “Surfing on the Seascape: Adaptation in a Changing Environment.” Evolution, vol. 73, no. 7, Wiley, 2019, pp. 1356–74, doi:10.1111/evo.13784.
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