ADAPTATION AND THE COST OF COMPLEXITY

ADAPTATION AND THE COST OF COMPLEXITY Abstract.— Adaptation is characterized by the movement of a population toward a many‐character optimum, movement that results in an increase in fitness. Here I calculate the rate at which fitness increases during adaptation and describe the curve giving fitness versus time as a population approaches an optimum in Fisher's model of adaptation. The results identify several factors affecting the speed of adaptation. One of the most important is organismal complexity—complex organisms adapt more slowly than simple ones when using mutations of the same phenotypic size. Thus, as Fisher foresaw, organisms pay a kind of cost of complexity. However, the magnitude of this cost is considerably larger than Fisher's analysis suggested. Indeed the rate of adaptation declines at least as fast as n‐1, where n is the number of independent characters or dimensions comprising an organism. The present results also suggest that one can define an effective number of dimensions characterizing an adapting species. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolution Wiley

ADAPTATION AND THE COST OF COMPLEXITY

Evolution, Volume 54 (1) – Feb 1, 2000

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0014-3820
eISSN
1558-5646
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.0014-3820.2000.tb00002.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract.— Adaptation is characterized by the movement of a population toward a many‐character optimum, movement that results in an increase in fitness. Here I calculate the rate at which fitness increases during adaptation and describe the curve giving fitness versus time as a population approaches an optimum in Fisher's model of adaptation. The results identify several factors affecting the speed of adaptation. One of the most important is organismal complexity—complex organisms adapt more slowly than simple ones when using mutations of the same phenotypic size. Thus, as Fisher foresaw, organisms pay a kind of cost of complexity. However, the magnitude of this cost is considerably larger than Fisher's analysis suggested. Indeed the rate of adaptation declines at least as fast as n‐1, where n is the number of independent characters or dimensions comprising an organism. The present results also suggest that one can define an effective number of dimensions characterizing an adapting species.

Journal

EvolutionWiley

Published: Feb 1, 2000

References

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