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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1995 Nov 29;350(1332):133-41.

The adaptive advantage of phenotypic memory in changing environments.

Author information

1
Theoretical Biology Group of Collegium Budapest, Institute for Advanced Study, Hungary.

Abstract

The adaptive value of carry-over effects, the persistence of induced phenotypes for several generations despite the change in the conditions that first induced these phenotypes, is studied in the framework of a simple model. Three different organismal strategies-non-inducible (genetic), completely inducible (plastic), and intermediate (carry-over)-are compared in fitness terms within three different environments. Analytical results and numerical simulations show that carry-over effects can have an advantage in stochastic environments even over organisms with high adaptive plasticity. We argue that carry-over effects represent an adaptive mechanism on the ecological timescale that fills the gap between short-term individual adaptations and long-term evolutionary adaptations. An extension of the concept of plasticity to incorporate the time dimension and include the stability of induced phenotypes through both clonal and sexual generations, is suggested.

PMID:
8577857
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.1995.0147
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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