Adaption, neutrality, and life course diversity
AbstractHeterogeneity among individuals in fitness components is what selection
acts upon. Evolutionary theories predict that selection in constant
environments acts against such heterogeneity. But observations reveal
substantial non-genetic and also non-environmental variability in
phenotypes. Here we examine whether there is a relationship between
selection pressure and phenotypic variability by analysing structured
population models based on data from a large and diverse set of species.
Our findings suggest that non-genetic, non-environmental variation is in
general neither truly neutral, selected for, or selected against. We
find much variation among species and populations within species, with
mean patterns suggesting nearly neutral evolution of life course
variability. Populations that show greater diversity of life courses do
not show, in general, increased or decreased population growth rates.
Our analysis suggests we are only at the beginning in understanding the
evolution and maintenance of non-genetic non environmental variation.
19 Sep 2022
19 Sep 2022
21 Sep 2022