Adjusting phenotypes via within- and across-generational plasticity.
Contents 343 I. 343 II. 343 III. 347 IV. 348 348 References 348 SUMMARY: There is renewed interest in how transgenerational environmental effects, including epigenetic inheritance, contribute to adaptive evolution. The contribution of across-generation plasticity to adaptation, however, needs to be evaluated within the context of within-generation plasticity, which is often proposed to contribute more efficiently to adaptation because of the potentially greater accuracy of progeny than parental cues to predict progeny selective environments. We highlight recent empirical studies of transgenerational plasticity, and find that they do not consistently support predictions based on the higher predictive ability of progeny environmental cues. We discuss these findings within the context of the relative predictive ability of maternal and progeny cues, costs and constraints of plasticity in parental and progeny generations, and the dynamic nature of the adaptive value of within- and across-generation plasticity that varies with the process of adaptation itself. Such contingent and dynamically variable selection could account for the diversity of patterns of within- and across-generation plasticity observed in nature, and can influence the adaptive value of the persistence of environmental effects across generations.
Auge, GA; Leverett, LD; Edwards, BR; Donohue, K
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