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Evolution's WedgeCompetition and the Origins of Diversity$
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David W. Pfennig and Karin S. Pfennig

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274181

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274181.001.0001

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How Character Displacement Unfolds

How Character Displacement Unfolds

(p.80) (p.81) 4 How Character Displacement Unfolds
Evolution's Wedge

David W. Pfennig

Karin S. Pfennig

University of California Press

Relatively little is known of the source of the phenotypic variation that fuels character displacement, as well as how different sources of variation affect the tempo and mode of character displacement. Character displacement can be mediated by genetically canalized changes or environmentally induced shifts. Yet these two proximate mechanisms likely cause differences in character displacement's tempo. Specifically, character displacement mediated by phenotypic plasticity may generally occur more rapidly than character displacement mediated by genetically canalized changes. However, these two mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and they likely often act together to determine character displacement's mode, such that character displacement evolves from an initial phase in which trait divergence is environmentally induced to one in which divergence is expressed constitutively.

Keywords:   development, genetically canalized change, genetics of adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, proximate mechanisms

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