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Title: Constraints and Opportunities for the Evolution of Metamorphic Organisms in a Changing Climate
We argue that developmental hormones facilitate the evolution of novel phenotypic innovations and timing of life history events by genetic accommodation. Within an individual’s life cycle, metamorphic hormones respond readily to environmental conditions and alter adult phenotypes. Across generations, the many effects of hormones can bias and at times constrain the evolution of traits during metamorphosis; yet, hormonal systems can overcome constraints through shifts in timing of, and acquisition of tissue specific responses to, endocrine regulation. Because of these actions of hormones, metamorphic hormones can shape the evolution of metamorphic organisms. We present a model called a developmental goblet, which provides a visual representation of how metamorphic organisms might evolve. In addition, because developmental hormones often respond to environmental changes, we discuss how endocrine regulation of postembryonic development may impact how organisms evolve in response to climate change. Thus, we propose that developmental hormones may provide a mechanistic link between climate change and organismal adaptation.
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Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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