When Unreliable Cues Are Good Enough

  title={When Unreliable Cues Are Good Enough},
  author={Matina C. Donaldson-Matasci and Carl T. Bergstrom and Michael Lachmann},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={313 - 327}
In many species, nongenetic phenotypic variation helps mitigate risk associated with an uncertain environment. In some cases, developmental cues can be used to match phenotype to environment—a strategy known as predictive plasticity. When environmental conditions are entirely unpredictable, generating random phenotypic diversity may improve the long-term success of a lineage—a strategy known as diversified bet hedging. When partially reliable information is available, a well-adapted… 

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  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 2015
The adaptive significance of evolutionary fluctuations in plasticity and the phenotypic variance, transient evolution, and the validity of the analytic approximations are investigated using simulations.



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A graphical heuristic for determining the optimal amount of diversity in a fluctuating environment is developed, and it is confirmed that bet-hedging should be observed only within a certain range of environmental variation.

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  • N. Moran
  • Biology, Psychology
    The American Naturalist
  • 1992
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  • A. Simons
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2009
The observed magnitude of fluctuating selection is sufficient to account for the degree of diversification behaviour characteristic of individuals of this species and a quantitative test of optimality of a bet-hedging trait in nature is provided.

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  • A. SimonsM. Johnston
  • Environmental Science
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 2006
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