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Data from: Runaway coevolution: adaptation to heritable and nonheritable environments


Drown, Devin M.; Wade, Michael J. (2014), Data from: Runaway coevolution: adaptation to heritable and nonheritable environments, Dryad, Dataset,


Populations evolve in response to the external environment, whether abiotic (e.g., climate) or biotic (e.g., other conspecifics). We investigated how adaptation to biotic, heritable environments differs from adaptation to abiotic, non-heritable environments. We found that, for the same selection coefficients, the coadaptive process between genes and heritable environments is much faster than genetic adaptation to an abiotic non-heritable environment. The increased rate of adaptation results from of the positive association generated by reciprocal selection between the heritable environment and the genes responding to it. These associations result in a runaway process of adaptive coevolution, even when the genes creating the heritable environment and genes responding to the heritable environment are unlinked. Although tightening the degree of linkage accelerates the coadaptive process, the acceleration caused by a comparable amount of inbreeding is greater, because inbreeding has a cumulative effect on reducing functional recombination over generations. Our results suggest that that adaptation to local abiotic environmental variation may result in the rapid diversification of populations and subsequent reproductive isolation not directly but rather via its effects on heritable environments and the genes responding to them.

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