A tradeoff between robustness to environmental fluctuations and speed of evolution

Max Schmid, Maria Paniw, Maarten Postuma, Arpat Ozgul, Frédéric Guillaume
corresponding author number of words in the abstract: 150 8 number of words in the main text: 4'979 9 number of words in each text box: 0 10 number of references: 85 11 number of figures, tables, and text boxes: 6, 0, 0 12 running title: evolvability-robustness tradeoff 13 keywords: environmental stochasticity, environmental change, life-history strategies, 14 evolvability, sensitivity, evolutionary rescue, density regulation, quantitative genetics, 15 individual-based simulations 16 statement
more » ... tions 16 statement of authorship: MS and FG conceived the study, and all authors further 17 developed the approach. MS and FG derived the mathematical equations. MS performed 18 the simulations, and analyzed output data. MS and FG wrote the paper. All authors 19 substantially contributed to revisions of early drafts of this work. Abstract 24 Organisms must cope with both short-and long-term environmental changes to persist. 25 In this study we investigated whether life histories trade-off between their robustness 26 to short-term environmental perturbations and their ability to evolve directional trait 27 changes. We could confirm the tradeoff by modeling the eco-evolutionary dynamics of life-28 histories along the fast-slow pace-of-life continuum. Offspring dormancy and high adult 29 survival rates allowed for large population sizes to be maintained in face of interannual 30 environmental fluctuations but limited the speed of trait evolution with ongoing envi-31 ronmental change. In contrast, precocious offspring maturation and short-living adults 32 promoted evolvability while lowering demographic robustness. This tradeoff had imme-33 diate consequences on extinction dynamics in variable environments. High evolvability 34 allowed short-lived species to cope with long-lasting gradual environmental change, but 35 came at the expense of more pronounced population declines and extinction rates from 36 environmental variability. Higher robustness of slow life-histories helped them persist 37 better on short timescales.
doi:10.5167/uzh-200579 fatcat:jbss4sgrvbcpriwbkciqurlgve