1932

Abstract

Transgenerational plasticity (TGP) occurs when the environment experienced by a parent influences the development of their offspring. In this article, we develop a framework for understanding the mechanisms and multigenerational consequences of TGP. First, we conceptualize the mechanisms of TGP in the context of communication between parents (senders) and offspring (receivers) by dissecting the steps between an environmental cue received by a parent and its resulting effects on the phenotype of one or more future generations. Breaking down the problem in this way highlights the diversity of mechanisms likely to be involved in the process. Second, we review the literature on multigenerational effects and find that the documented patterns across generations are diverse. We categorize different multigenerational patterns and explore the proximate and ultimate mechanisms that can generate them. Throughout, we highlight opportunities for future work in this dynamic and integrative area of study.

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2019-11-02
2024-05-27
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