Genetic Constraints on the Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity


In many species, dramatic phenotypic variation can be observed among individuals that are allowed to develop in different environments. Such environment-related phenotypic variation need not always indicate genetic differentiation; phenotypic variation among genetically identical individuals can result from the susceptibility to environmental influences. A change in the average phenotype expressed by a genotype in different macro-environments is generally called phenotypic plasticity (cf. Bradshaw 1965). Although variation due to micro-environmental effects within environments (“developmental instability”, Bradshaw 1985) is considered in the models discussed here, the objective of this chapter is to discuss the evolutionary mechanisms that can produce an advantageous phenotypic response to spatial variation in the environment, that is, adaptive phenotypic plasticity.


Character State Genetic Correlation Phenotypic Plasticity Reaction Norm Host Plant Species 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Via
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Entomology and Section of Ecology and Systematics, Comstock HallCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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