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Sunday 8 May 2005


In biology, adaptation has three related meanings.
- Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits a population of organisms to their environment, enhancing their evolutionary fitness.
- Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that process.
- Thirdly, it is a phenotypic or adaptive trait, with a functional role in each individual organism, that is maintained and has been evolved by natural selection.

Organisms face a succession of environmental challenges as they grow, and show adaptive plasticity as traits develop in response to the imposed conditions. This gives them resilience to varying environments.

See also

- function

Paywall References

- Orr HA. The genetic theory of adaptation: a brief history. Nat Rev Genet. 2005 Feb;6(2):119-27. PMID: 15716908