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Data from: Adaptive alignment of plasticity with genetic variation and selection

Cite this dataset

Anderson Berdal, Monica; Dochtermann, Ned (2019). Data from: Adaptive alignment of plasticity with genetic variation and selection [Dataset]. Dryad.


Theoretical research has outlined how selection may shape both genetic variation and the expression of phenotypic plasticity in multivariate trait space. Specifically, research regarding the evolution of patterns of additive genetic variances and covariances (summarized in matrix form as G) and complimentary research into how selection may shape adaptive plasticity lead to the general prediction that G, plasticity, and selection surfaces are all expected to align with each other. However, less well discussed is how this prediction might be assessed and how the modelled theoretical processes are expected to manifest in actual populations. Here, we discuss the theoretical foundations of the overarching prediction of alignment, what alignment mathematically means, how researchers might test for alignment, and important caveats to this testing. The most important caveat concerns the fact that, for plasticity, the prediction of alignment only applies to cases where plasticity is adaptive, whereas organisms express considerable plasticity that may be neutral or even maladaptive. We detail the ramifications of these alternative expressions of plasticity vis-à-vis predictions of alignment. Finally, we briefly highlight some important interpretations of deviations from the prediction of alignment and what alignment might mean for populations experiencing environmental and selective changes.

Usage notes


National Science Foundation, Award: 1557951