Adaptation: 3-D Adaptive Landscape

The adaptive landscape, invisioned by Sewell Wright, considers simultaneously the value of a trait and the fitness of individuals possesing that trait value. The function describing the fitness of the trait for a given value can be thought of as a landscape, with peaks being trait values of fitness and valleys being trait values of low fitness. The trait value with the highest fitness is termed the global peak. All peaks other than the global peak are termed local peaks.

Since selection tends to increase the average fitness in a population (assuming of course that the trait is heritable), the mean trait value will tend to move towards the nearest local peak on the adaptive landscape.

Click here to view selection on a 3-D fitness landscape...