Can the frozen plasticity theory explain the enigma of invasive species?
According to classical evolutionary theories, native species, which are adapted to local conditions, should outcompete newcoming species. According to the frozen plasticity theory, the ecological success of some newcomers is not so surprising. During the introduction and following lag phase, the genetic polymorphism of an introduced population decreases, which could result in the conversion of a frozen species to the plastic state. Frozen species are best adapted to the conditions existing at the time of their origin (past conditions), while plastic species can adapt to current conditions. Moreover, plastic species can outcompete frozen species in the coevolutionary “arms race”.
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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more