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Adaption, neutrality, and life course diversity
  • Ulrich Steiner,
  • Shripad Tuljapurkar
Ulrich Steiner
Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin

Corresponding Author:ulrich.steiner@fu-berlin.de

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Shripad Tuljapurkar
Stanford University
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Abstract

Heterogeneity 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.
14 Sep 2022Submitted to Ecology Letters
19 Sep 2022Submission Checks Completed
19 Sep 2022Assigned to Editor
21 Sep 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Oct 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Oct 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Major
01 Dec 20221st Revision Received
01 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Dec 2022Assigned to Editor
02 Dec 2022Submission Checks Completed