Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Environmental fluctuations promote intraspecific diversity and population persistence via inflationary effects

Citation

Wieczynski, Daniel J.; Vasseur, David A. (2015), Data from: Environmental fluctuations promote intraspecific diversity and population persistence via inflationary effects, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.73p72

Abstract

The impact of temporal variation in the environment, specifically the amount of temporal autocorrelation, on population processes is of growing interest in ecology and evolutionary biology. It was recently discovered that temporal autocorrelation in the environment can significantly increase the abundance of populations that would otherwise have low, or even negative long-term growth rates (via so-called ‘inflationary effects’), provided that immigration from another source prevents extinction. Here we use a mathematical model to ask whether inflationary effects can also increase population persistence without immigration if different phenotypes within that population partition growth over time and buffer each other from extinction via mutation. Using a combination of analytical and numerical methods, we find that environmental autocorrelation can inflate the abundance of phenotypes that would otherwise be excluded from the population, provided that phenotypes are sufficiently different in their use of the environment. This inflation of abundance at the phenotypic level also generates an inflation of abundance at the population level. Remarkably, intraspecific inflationary effects can increase both phenotypic and whole population abundance even if one or all phenotypes are maladapted to the environment, as long as mutations prevent phenotypic extinction during periods of poor environmental conditions. Given the prevalence of temporally autocorrelated environmental variables in nature, intraspecific inflationary effects have the potential to be of widespread importance for population persistence as well as the maintenance of intraspecific diversity.

Usage Notes