Meeting Abstract

S8-2.3  Friday, Jan. 6  Evolutionary consequences of context-dependent maternal effects CRUICKSHANK, Tami; National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Context-dependent maternal effects are common; environmental variation among dams may be reflected in distributions of offspring phenotypes.  I examine the evolutionary genetic consequences of plasticity due to maternal effects, focusing on properties that are unique compared with within-generational plasticity.  First, the evolution of adaptive maternal effects requires a correlation between maternal and offspring environment. When environmental conditions are highly correlated across generations, the contribution of adaptive maternal effects to offspring phenotype (and to the distribution of brood phenotypes) is facilitated. Secondly, maternal effects enable dams to alter the distribution of offspring phenotypes; this results in more structured populations and allows dams to maximize fitness by altering this distribution. I consider both the correlation between maternal and offspring environments and tensions between individual adaptation to changing environments within a generation and maternal manipulation of offspring phenotypes. Finally, these environmental maternal effects will be compared to the constitutive expression of genetic maternal effects, highlighting the substantial influence of both the genotype and the condition of dams (rearing environment, available resources) on brood phenotypes.