Notes On Phenotypic Plasticity And Local Adaptation

1384 WordsDec 14, 20166 Pages
Phenotypic Plasticity Phenotypic plasticity is when a genotype of an organism displays different phenotypes due to the conditions of the environment. It is important to understand why different organisms respond differently to changes in the environment and the ways they adapt to these changes. This paper focuses on whether these adaptations are due to either phenotypic plasticity or local adaptation. Since nothing is ever perfect, the paper also concentrates on the constraints of phenotypic plasticity which are divided into two; costs and limits. Costs of phenotypic plasticity would be that which would lead to reduced fitness. In contrast, the limit of plasticity is where the traits produced by plasticity is not at an optimal level. The effects of plasticity in a population is also discussed. Since phenotypic plasticity can be measured at different levels, this paper would focus mainly on the individual phenotypic plasticity. Introduction Environmental adaptation, which occurs when there is a change in the environment leading to modifications that allow the organisms in that environment adapt to those changes over time, can be characterized into two levels; selection and phenotypic plasticity. Selection happens when an allele is more favorable in an environment, its frequency increases over time but when it is unfavorable, its frequency decreases. When a genotype of an organism displays different phenotypes due to the conditions of

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