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The Adaptive Landscape in Evolutionary Biology$
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Erik Svensson and Ryan Calsbeek

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595372.001.0001

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Adaptive Accuracy and Adaptive Landscapes

Adaptive Accuracy and Adaptive Landscapes

(p.150) Chapter 10 Adaptive Accuracy and Adaptive Landscapes
The Adaptive Landscape in Evolutionary Biology

Christophe Pélabon

W. Scott Armbruster

Thomas F. Hansen

Geir H. Bolstad

Rocío Pérez-Barrales

Oxford University Press

The concept of adaptive accuracy allows more refined measurement of maladaptation by considering not only the relation of a population or individual mean phenotype to a fixed optimum, but also the effects of variation across individuals and environments or in the developmental realization of a genotype. Previous models of adaptive inaccuracy have been based on a simple quadratic fitness function for a single trait. It should be kept in mind, however, that the validity of interpreting fitness surfaces and population distribution in terms of adaptive inaccuracy, bias and imprecision strongly depends on the quality of the estimated fitness function and trait(s) distribution. Building a full fitness surface is challenging, regarding both the necessary knowledge to include the proper fitness components and the amount of data required for building accurate fitness surfaces. Furthermore, the natural distribution of quantitative traits generally limits the range over which precise fitness function can be estimated. Our understanding of adaptation therefore depends on long term data on natural selection and proper estimation of adaptive landscapes. Nevertheless our conceptual approach of testing adaptation supports the idea that the adaptive landscape, as defined by Simpson and further developed by Lande and Arnold and others, is not only a heuristic device to illustrate the effects of natural selection, but also a powerful tool to quantify the levels of adaptation and maladaptation of phenotypic traits.

Keywords:   adaptive accuracy, Dalechampia scandens, fitness surface, plants, selection study

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