Multidimensional (co)evolutionary stability

The American Naturalist
Florence DébarreMichael Doebeli


The complexity of biotic and abiotic environmental conditions is such that the fitness of individuals is likely to depend on multiple traits. Using a synthetic framework of phenotypic evolution that draws from adaptive dynamics and quantitative genetics approaches, we explore how the number of traits under selection influences convergence stability and evolutionary stability in models for coevolution in multidimensional phenotype spaces. Our results allow us to identify three different effects of trait dimensionality on stability. First are (i) a "combinatorial effect": without epistasis and genetic correlations, a higher number of trait dimensions offers more opportunities for equilibria to be unstable; and (ii) epistatic interactions, that is, fitness interactions between traits, which tend to destabilize evolutionary equilibria; this effect increases with the dimension of phenotype space. These first two effects influence both convergence stability and evolutionary stability, while (iii) genetic correlations (due, e.g., to pleiotropy or linkage disequilibrium) can affect only convergence stability. We illustrate the general prediction that increased dimensionality destabilizes evolutionary equilibria using examples drawn fro...Continue Reading

Associated Datasets

Apr 23, 2014·Scott L. NuismerMichael Doebeli


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Related Concepts

Adaptation, Physiological
Impacts, Environmental
Deviation, Epistatic
Biological Evolution
Genetics, Population
Selection, Genetic
Enzyme Stability
Epistasis, Genetic
Biological Evolution

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