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Table 2 Differences between predictions of the gradualistic and punctuational theories of evolution

From: Microevolutionary, macroevolutionary, ecological and taxonomical implications of punctuational theories of adaptive evolution

  Gradualistic theories Group I punctuational theories Group II punctuational theories Group III punctuational theories Group IV punctuational theories Group V punctuational theories
typical representative Fisher’s model Futuyma’s model Wright’s model Templeton’s model Mayr’s model Flegr’s model
anagenesis and cladogenesis are coupled **1, 2 no yes yes yes yes yes
divergence of species correlates with taxon richness 1 no yes yes yes yes yes
genetic polymorphism decelerates evolution **3 no no no no yes yes
most species under usual conditions respond to selection *4 as plasiticine as plasiticine rather as lead than plasticine rather as lead than plasticine as rubber as ruber
two species in the same niche frequently can easily coexist * no no yes yes yes yes
species are adapted to original environment *5 no no yes yes yes yes
local and global abundance do not correlate for old species **6 no no yes yes yes yes
abundance of species decreases with species age no no yes yes yes yes
ability of species to respond to environmental changes decreases with species age **7 no no no no yes yes
ability of species to change taxon-characteristic traits decreases with clade age * no no no no no yes
species on islands are derived more than those on continents *1 no yes yes yes yes yes
asexual species are more adapted to their environment *8 no no no yes yes yes
cross-pollinating species more stable than self-pollinating species *9 no yes no yes yes yes
invasive species express higher capacity to respond selection **10 no no no yes yes yes
domesticated species express higher capacity to respond selection no no no yes yes yes
domesticated species are evolutionarily younger no no no no yes yes
successful selection decreases fitness *11 no no no no yes yes
evolution of altruistic behavior by group selection is easy *12 no no no yes yes yes
phylogenetic trees usually resemble *13 tree shrub shrub shrub shrub shrub
intraspecies variability in a clade usually decreases in time* no no no no no yes
interspecies variability (disparity) in a clade usually decreases * no no no no no yes
dead clade walking should frequently occur * no no no no no yes
slow long-term trends are quite possible * no yes yes yes yes yes
genera and higher taxa are objective existing entities * no yes yes yes yes yes
  1. Gradualistic theories include not only classical neodarwinistic (Fisherian) models but also selfish gene model of Dawkins (Dawkins 1976). The Futuyma’s model (stabilization of gradualistically developed traits by a speciation) was described in (Gould 2002), p. 77, other models are described in Tab. 1. The group II encloses the Wright’s Shifting balance model (Wright 1932) and the group III encloses the models of Carson and Templeton (Carson 1968; Templeton 1980) as the elasticity of species or the frequency dependent selection is probably not explicitly mentioned in these models. The Flegr’s frozen plasticity model (class V) differs from the Mayer’s Genetic revolution-based model (class IV) by including theory of evolutionary stable strategies for description of behavior of alleles in genetically polymorphic population and by including the conception of accumulation of permanently frozen traits by sorting for stability. Two asterisks denote the predictions that have already been tested with positive result. One asterisk denotes the predictions that have not been intentionally tested but are supported by published data. 1 (Ricklefs 2004), 2(Pagel et al. 2006), 3(Bryant et al. 1986; Mezhzherin 1997), 4 (Dobzhansky and Spassky 1969), 5(Costas et al. 1996), 6(Prinzing et al. 2004), 7(Mikulas 2008), 8(Haag and Ebert 2004; Peck et al. 1998), 9(Flegr 2002), 10 (Novak 2007; Prentis et al. 2008; Yonekura et al. 2007), 11(Bradshaw and Holzapfel 2006; Nussey et al. 2005), 12 (Kulich and Flegr 2010), 13 (Gould 2002; Heard 1992).