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INTEGR. COMP. BIOL., 43:367375 (2003) Performance Surfaces and Adaptive Landscapes1

Summary: 367
INTEGR. COMP. BIOL., 43:367375 (2003)
Performance Surfaces and Adaptive Landscapes1
Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331
SYNOPSIS. In an earlier characterization of the relationship between morphology, performance and fitness,
I focused only on directional selection (Arnold, 1983). The aim of this article is to extend that characteriza-
tion to include stabilizing and other forms of nonlinear selection. As in the earlier characterization, this
more general description of the morphology-performance-fitness relationship splits empirical analysis into
two parts: the study of the relationship between morpholgy and performance, and the study of the relation-
ship between performance and fitness. From a conceptual standpoint, my goal is to specify the relationship
of performance studies to the adaptive landscape. I begin by reviewing the adaptive landscape concept and
its importance in evolutionary biology. A central point emerging from that review is that that key descriptors
of the adaptive landscape can be estimated by measuring the impact of selection on the means, variances
and covariances of phenotypic traits. Those descriptors can be estimated by making a quadratic (regression)
approximation to the selection surface that describes the relationship between the phenotypic traits of in-
dividuals and their fitness. Analysis of the effects of morphology on performance follows an analogous
procedure: making a quadratic approximation to the individual performance surface and then using that
approximation to solve for the descriptors of the performance landscape. I conclude by discussing the
evolution of performance and adaptive landscapes. One possibility with biomechanical justification is that


Source: Arnold, Stevan J. - Department of Zoology, Oregon State University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology