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Proc Biol Sci. 2014 Nov 7;281(1794):20141677. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1677.

The role of migration in the evolution of phenotypic switching.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA ocarja@stanford.edu oana.carja@gmail.com.
2
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Abstract

Stochastic switching is an example of phenotypic bet hedging, where an individual can switch between different phenotypic states in a fluctuating environment. Although the evolution of stochastic switching has been studied when the environment varies temporally, there has been little theoretical work on the evolution of phenotypic switching under both spatially and temporally fluctuating selection pressures. Here, we explore the interaction of temporal and spatial change in determining the evolutionary dynamics of phenotypic switching. We find that spatial variation in selection is important; when selection pressures are similar across space, migration can decrease the rate of switching, but when selection pressures differ spatially, increasing migration between demes can facilitate the evolution of higher rates of switching. These results may help explain the diverse array of non-genetic contributions to phenotypic variability and phenotypic inheritance observed in both wild and experimental populations.

KEYWORDS:

bet hedging; fluctuating environments; phenotypic switching; subdivided populations

PMID:
25232136
PMCID:
PMC4211453
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2014.1677
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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