Most evolutionary models focus on isolated traits, but the fitness of an organism depends on the combination of traits that composes its phenotype. Models of coadaptation account for the interaction between thermoregulatory behaviour and thermal physiology. These models cast doubt on a fundamental tenet of the theory of thermal adaptation; specifically, models that ignore coadaptation either predict or assume a close match between an organism's mean body temperature and its thermal optimum for performance. Two evolutionary processes can lead to a mismatch between the body temperature and the thermal optimum. First, time lags for acclimation and deacclimation favour a mismatch to reduce the loss of performance during thermal change. Second, imprecise thermoregulation favours a mismatch to prevent the loss of performance at high temperatures. An explicit focus on the interaction between traits will shed light on these processes and other processes of coadaptation.
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