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Data from: Environmental stress correlates with increases in both genetic and residual variances: a meta-analysis of animal studies

Citation

Rowinski, Piotr K.; Rogell, Björn (2017), Data from: Environmental stress correlates with increases in both genetic and residual variances: a meta-analysis of animal studies, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.58bm7

Abstract

Adaptive evolutionary responses are determined by the strength of selection and the amount of genetic variation within traits, however, both are known to vary across environmental conditions. As selection is generally expected to be strongest under stressful conditions, understanding how the expression of genetic variation changes across stressful and benign environmental conditions is crucial for predicting the rate of adaptive change. While theory generally predicts increased genetic variation under stress, previous syntheses of the field has found limited support for this notion. These studies have focused on heritability, which is dependent on other environmentally sensitive, but non-genetic, sources of variation. Here, we aim to complement these studies with a meta-analysis where we examine changes in coefficient of variation (CV) in maternal, genetic, and residual variances across stressful and benign conditions. Confirming previous analyses, we did not find any clear direction in how heritability changes across stressful and benign conditions. However, when analyzing CV, we found higher genetic and residual variance under highly stressful conditions in life-history traits but not in morphological traits. Our findings are of broad significance to contemporary evolution suggesting that rapid evolutionary adaptive response may be mediated by increased evolutionary potential in stressed populations.

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