Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Dynamic Evolution Hypothesis of Organisms

Version 1 : Received: 16 December 2018 / Approved: 17 December 2018 / Online: 17 December 2018 (16:10:52 CET)

How to cite: Wu, Y. Dynamic Evolution Hypothesis of Organisms. Preprints 2018, 2018120205. Wu, Y. Dynamic Evolution Hypothesis of Organisms. Preprints 2018, 2018120205.


I propose a dynamic evolution hypothesis regarding the evolution of organisms by incorporating both diminished fitness returns and mutation rate tuning during adaptation to a constant environment. Basically, accumulating evidence from life history studies conducted over the past 70 years suggests that the evolution of individual fitness is subject to ecological constraints, leading to the evolutionary existence of an upper limit of individual fitness (ULIF). Given the existence of the ULIF, organismal evolution, which might initially have relatively great fitness returns through primarily Darwinian evolution, will eventually be subject to diminished fitness returns towards zero. With the diminished fitness return, Darwinian selection strength may eventually become smaller than the power of random genetic drift, leading to the occurrence of neutral evolution at both phenotypic and molecular levels. Meanwhile, mutation rates may change from an initial increase, due to the relatively strong fitness return, to subsequent decreases, due to both the diminished fitness return of beneficial mutations and the cost of deleterious mutations. The diminished fitness returns with subsequently reduced mutation rates are two potential evolution barriers leading to eventual evolutionary stasis. These findings provide important insights for understanding the conditions for the occurrences of different evolutionary patterns. Darwinian evolution theory, neutral evolution theory and punctuated equilibrium theory can be unified in the context of the dynamic evolution hypothesis formulated in this study.


Diminished fitness return, mutation rate tuning, Darwinian evolution; neutral evolution; punctuated equilibrium; unified evolutionary theory


Biology and Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Comments (0)

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our Diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
* All users must log in before leaving a comment
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 0
Metrics 0

Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
Read more about our cookies here.