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The evolution of multi-component mimicry

Franks, D.W. and Sherratt, T.N. (2006) The evolution of multi-component mimicry. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 244 (4). pp. 631-639. ISSN 0022-5193

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The relative sizes of phenotypic mutations contributing to evolutionary change has long been the subject of debate. We describe how mimicry research can shed light on this debate, and frame mimicry studies within the general context of macromutationism and micromutationism, and punctuated versus gradual evolution. Balogh and Leimar [Müllerian mimicry: an examination of Fisher's theory of gradual evolutionary change. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 272, 2269–2275] have recently used a model to readdress the question of whether or not mimicry evolves gradually along a single dimension. We extend their approach, and present the first model to consider the effect of predator generalization along multiple components on the evolution of mimicry. We find that the gradual evolution of mimicry becomes increasingly less likely as the number of signal components increases, unless predators generalize widely over all components. However, we show that the contemporary two-step hypothesis (punctuated evolution followed by gradual refinement) can explain the evolution of Müllerian mimicry under all tested conditions. Thus, although the gradual evolution of mimicry is possible, the two-step hypothesis appears more generally applicable.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2009 14:59
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2009 14:59
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.09.019
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V.
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.09.019
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6933

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