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Trends Ecol Evol. 2005 Sep;20(9):481-6. Epub 2005 Jun 13.

Evolution of phenotypic plasticity: where are we going now?

Author information

1
Department of Ecology and Evolution, SUNY Stony Brook, 650 Life Science Bldg, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA. pigliucci@genotypebyenvironment.org

Abstract

The study of phenotypic plasticity has progressed significantly over the past few decades. We have moved from variation for plasticity being considered as a nuisance in evolutionary studies to it being the primary target of investigations that use an array of methods, including quantitative and molecular genetics, as well as of several approaches that model the evolution of plastic responses. Here, I consider some of the major aspects of research on phenotypic plasticity, assessing where progress has been made and where additional effort is required. I suggest that some areas of research, such the study of the quantitative genetic underpinning of plasticity, have been either settled in broad outline or superseded by new approaches and questions. Other issues, such as the costs of plasticity are currently at the forefront of research in this field, and are likely to be areas of major future development.

PMID:
16701424
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2005.06.001

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