XII.10 The existence of morphologically, functionally and ecologically distinct stages in the life cycles of organisms also leads to the formation and development of diverse life strategies in the individual species

The formation of morphologically, functionally and ecologically distinct stages in the life cycle of an organism and the formation of diverse forms of life in the population of a particular species extend the potential for the establishment of diverse life strategies that can be implemented by individual species or individuals in the population and in which they can mutually differ (Nielsen 1998).This can be of substantial importance, for example, for increasing biodiversity in the particular ecosystems.The individual species of organisms can mutually delimit  niches, not only, for example, on the basis of nutrients for whose acquisition they are specialized, but also on the basis of differences in their life strategies.Thus, two closely related species dependent on the same sources of nutrients and exposed to predation from the same predators can easily live next to one another if one of them has a substantially prolonged stage of larval development and the other has long adult stage.Similarly, species that mutually differ in their secondary sex ratio or eusocial species differing in the numbers of the individual casts in the population can thus coexist for long periods of time.

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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
Draft translation from: Evoluční biologie, 2. vydání (Evolutionary biology, 2nd edition), J. Flegr, Academia Prague 2009. The translation was not done by biologist, therefore any suggestion concerning proper scientific terminology and language usage are highly welcomed. You can send your comments to flegratcesnet [dot] cz. Thank you.