The Role of Non-Genetic Change in the Heritability, Variation, and Response to Selection of Artificially Selected Ecosystems

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5 Author(s)

A response to selection on the level of the ecosystem has been demonstrated in artificial selection experiments, and poses interesting challenges to concepts of heritability, variation and phenotype in biological systems. We use ecosystems modeled as Lotka-Volterra competition systems, and subject to an ecosystem-level selection process, to illustrate and discuss the potential, and possible mechanisms, for ecosystem-level evolution without genetic change of the component species. A limited positive response to selection is demonstrated by the selection of alternative stable ecosystem states.