You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Fluctuating Population Dynamics Promotes the Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity
Richard Svanbäck, Mario Pineda‐Krch and Michael Doebeli
The American Naturalist
Vol. 174, No. 2 (August 2009), pp. 176-189
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/600112
Page Count: 14
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Predators, Evolution, Habitats, Phenotypic plasticity, Phenotypes, Ecological modeling, Mortality, Population dynamics, Simulations, Foraging
Were these topics helpful?See something inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Abstract: Theoretical and empirical studies are showing evidence in support of evolutionary branching and sympatric speciation due to frequency‐dependent competition. However, phenotypic diversification due to underlying genetic diversification is only one possible evolutionary response to disruptive selection. Another potentially general response is phenotypic diversification in the form of phenotypic plasticity. It has been suggested that genetic variation is favored in stable environments, whereas phenotypic plasticity is favored in unstable and fluctuating environments. We investigate the “competition” between the processes of evolutionary branching and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in a predator‐prey model that allows both processes to occur. In this model, environmental fluctuations can be caused by complicated population dynamics. We found that the evolution of phenotypic plasticity was generally more likely than evolutionary branching when the ecological dynamics exhibited pronounced predator‐prey cycles, whereas the opposite was true when the ecological dynamics was more stable. At intermediate levels of density cycling, trimorphisms with two specialist branches and a phenotypically plastic generalist branch sometimes occurred. Our theoretical results suggest that ecological dynamics and evolutionary dynamics can often be tightly linked and that an explicit consideration of population dynamics may be essential to explain the evolutionary dynamics of diversification in natural populations.
© 2009 by The University of Chicago.