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Theory-Based EcologyA Darwinian approach$
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Liz Pásztor, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Gabriella Magyar, Tamás Czárán, and Géza Meszéna

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199577859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577859.001.0001

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Trade-offs and adaptations

Trade-offs and adaptations

(p.144) Chapter 8 Trade-offs and adaptations
Theory-Based Ecology

Liz Pásztor

Zoltán Botta-Dukát

Gabriella Magyar

Tamás Czárán

Géza Meszéna

Oxford University Press

Variations of individual traits are usually cross-constrained, and the components of fitness are generically traded off. A series of examples illustrate that constraints on inherited variation are the consequences of morphological or physiological features, most of which are inevitable due to physical or chemical laws and often can be modelled by allocation trade-offs. Life-history trade-offs can be easily masked by differences in individual environmental conditions or individual qualities. A certain set of environmental conditions impose directional phenotypic selection on inherited variation implying that the actual trade-off function between the fitness components is subject to optimization. However, optimal strategies change in response to regulating and modifying environmental conditions. Density-dependent optimization theory and experiments reveal that increased mortality levels can be balanced by increased optimal fecundity in a regulated population. The chapter concludes with a classification of primary plant strategies corresponding to the levels of the main regulating and modifying factors.

Keywords:   constraints, allocation trade-off, life-history trade-off, adaptive strategy, masking a trade-off, optimal strategy, plant strategy, density-dependent optimization

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