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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effects of temporal heterogeneity in genetic covariance do Ó, Isabela


Environments are not stable, and the way they change may influence the evolutionary dynamics. Consequently, taxa may adapt to how change happens and not just to the effect of change. Here we suggest that trait covariance can change depending on how the fitness landscape fluctuates over time. So far, there is evidence for three adaptive causes for evolution in trait covariance: phenotypic plasticity, correlational selection, and antagonistic pleiotropy. This thesis shows how the synchrony of the change in selective pressures on different traits, even without a causal selective connection, can lead to covariance. We use an individual-based birth-death model to run experiments and compare the effects of correlated change in selective pressures over different traits with uncorrelated change. Our results agree with our hypothesis and show how correlated environmental change can lead to positive covariance.

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