Download Phenotypic Plasticity of Insects: Mechanisms and by Douglas Whitman PDF

By Douglas Whitman

This ebook explores the profound value of phenotypic plasticity as a relevant organizing subject matter for figuring out biology. Chapters take a vast, integrative method of clarify how actual and organic environmental stimuli (temperature, photoperiod, food, inhabitants density, predator presence, etc.), impression insect biochemical, physiological, studying, and developmental strategies, changing phenotype, which then impacts functionality, ecology, life-history, survival, health, and next evolution. subject matters contain endocrinology, improvement, physique measurement, allometry, polyphenism, replica, reproductive and life-history tradeoffs, replacement mating and life-history ideas, density-dependent prophylaxis, physiological version, acclimation, homeostasis, heat-shock proteins, studying, adaptive anti-predator habit, and evolution of phenotypic plasticity.

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Others suggest that plasticity stimulates evolutionary diversification by generating novelty (West-Eberhard 2003, Schlichting © 2009 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC What is Phenotypic Plasticity and Why is it Important? % 2004), and/or via genetic accommodation. An example is dung beetles, where plasticity in body size may have subsequently stimulated evolution of testis size and alternative mating tactics (Simmons et al. 2007). Phenotypic plasticity may act as an evolutionary capacitor to shield genetic variation from elimination, only to release it under extreme environmental conditions (Masel 2005, Feder 2007).

A key to understanding how phenotypic plasticity can evolve is the concept of interchangeability (Fig. 8). Most traits are both genetic and environmentally influenced (Roundtree and Nijhout 1994, Bradshaw and Holzapfel 2001). An example is the pigment melanin, which is the end product of well-known enzyme chains (Baraboy 1999, Sugumaran 2002, Ito 2003). The sequence instructions for these enzymes are coded by DNA and are heritable (True 2003).  Phenotypic Plasticity of Insects Fig. 7 Contd. © 2009 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC What is Phenotypic Plasticity and Why is it Important?

In contrast, plasticity may be favored in r-strategists because of their high rates of dispersal into new habitats. Polygenic quantitative traits should be more plastic than single locus traits (Roff 1996). Some models suggest that heterozygosity inhibits plasticity, because heterozygosity buffers environmental effects (see Scheiner 1993), but others disagree (Pigliucci 2005). If individuals cannot exhibit a reaction norm but groups can, then that reaction norm could feasibly evolve via group selection (Via et al.

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