What are the major differences between predictions based on the frozen plasticity theory and those based on the earlier evolutionary theories of adaptive evolution by Darwin and Dawkins?
Some important differences in predictions of the nature of microevolutionary, macroevolutionary and ecological processes are given in the following table:
|classical theory||frozen plasticity theory|
|anagenesis and cladogenesis **||are independent||are coupled|
|divergence of species||does not correlate with taxon richness||correlates with taxon richness|
|genetic polymorphism **||accelerates evolution||decelerates evolution|
|species respond to selection *||plastically (as plasticine)||elastically (as rubber)|
|species are adapted to *||current environment||original environment|
|local and global abundance **||correlate for any species||do not correlate for old species|
|abundance of species||is independent of species age||decreases with species age|
|ability of species to respond to environmental changes **||is independent of species age||decreases with species age|
|species on islands are derived *||as much as those on continents||more than those on continents|
|asexual species*||less adapted to their environment||more adapted to their environment|
|cross-pollinating species *||as stable as self-pollinating species||more stable than self-pollinating species|
|invasive species **||express average heritability||express higher heritability|
|domesticated species||express average heritability||express higher heritability|
|domesticated species||express average age||are evolutionarily younger|
|successful selection*||has no influence on fitness||decreases fitness|
|rate of anagenesis in a clade*||is (on average) constant||usually decreases|
|two species in the same niche*||usually cannot coexist||frequently can coexist|
|slow long-term trends*||are hardly possible||are quite possible|
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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