Is evolvability involved in the origin of modular variation?

A Gardner*, W Zuidema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Lipson et al. (2002) presented an elegant linear algebraic formalism to define and study the evolution of modularity in an artificial evolving system. They employed simulation data to support their suggestion that modularity arises spontaneously in temporally fluctuating systems in response to selection for enhanced evolvability. We show analytically and by simulation that their correlate of modularity is itself under selection and so is not a reliable indicator of selection for modularity per se. In addition, we question the relation between modularity and evolvability in their simulations, suggesting that this modularity cannot confer enhanced evolvability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1448-1450
Number of pages3
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • adaptability
  • canalization
  • fluctuating selection
  • pleiotropy
  • robustness

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