Selection on phenotypic plasticity favors thermal canalization

Erik Svensson, Miguel Gomez-Llano & John Waller
Climate change affects organisms worldwide with profound ecological and evolutionary consequences, often increasing population extinction risk. Climatic factors can increase the strength, variability or direction of natural selection on phenotypic traits, potentially driving adaptive evolution. Phenotypic plasticity in relation to temperature can allow organisms to maintain fitness in response to increasing temperatures, thereby “buying time” for subsequent genetic adaptation and promoting evolutionary rescue. Although many studies have shown that organisms respond plastically to increasing temperatures,...
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