Worgan, Simon and Mills, Rob,
Bullock, Seth, Noble, Jason, Watson, Richard A. and Bedau, Mark A.(eds.)
Initial Modelling of the Alternative Phenotypes Hypothesis
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Artificial Life, .
The alternative phenotype hypothesis contends that multiple phenotypes exist in a single genotype and are expressed by environmental or genetic cues. It further states that these multiple phenotypes will be maintained and improved in a population where the environment is unstable, in spite of the increased cost of this plasticity. In this work we propose a simple computational model to investigate the conditions under which alternative phenotypes become beneficial, and persist over evolutionary timescales. We find that the environment must vary to realise this hypothesis, and that these adaptations not only provide a fitness benefit in highly unstable environments but also continue to arise despite increasing stability and a corresponding gradual decline in fitness.
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