Monster Seminar JAM - Phenotypic Plasticity and its Relevance to the Ecology, Evolution and Persistence of Fishes
Dr. Jeff Hutchings, Department of Biology, Dalhousie University
Phenotypic plasticity the ability of a genotype to produce different phenotypes across an environmental gradient can be heuristically and graphically described as a norm of reaction, i.e., a linear or nonlinear function that expresses how the phenotypic value of a trait for a given genotype changes with the environment. Genetic variability in reaction norms reflects differences in the ability of populations, or among individuals within populations, to respond to environmental change. Plasticity is fundamentally and inextricably linked to all that influences the persistence of genotypes, populations, and species, including individual fitness; population dynamics; responses to climate change; and life-history responses to exploitation and other anthropogenic stressors. Yet, 100 years after Reaktionsnorm were first described, studies on plasticity, and its genetic variability within and among populations, are remarkably uncommon in the fish and fisheries literature. The primary purpose of this talk will be to illustrate, using examples from common-garden experiments on Atlantic salmon and Atlantic cod, why there is considerable merit in filling the theoretical and empirical vacuums that currently characterise research on genetic variability in phenotypic plasticity in fishes.
Date and Time:
November 19, 2009,
11:00 am - 12:00 pm