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extended phenotypeerweiterter Phänotyp (ger.)

  • All effects that a gene has on the external world in comparison with the effects of its alleles, including effects associated with such phenomena as co-evolution, inclusive fitness, evolutionary arms races, and reciprocal altruism, all of which have a bearing on the number of copies of the gene that are likely to be transmitted to the next generation. It is distinguished from the conventional phenotype, which is restricted to the gene's effects on the individual organism in which it resides and which excludes extra-organismic effects associated with such phenomena. (Oxford Dictionary of Psychology 2009)

    a gene can find phenotypic expression not in its own body but in a body of the next generation. This is a particular example of the concept of the extended phenotype. Here the route of the influence is presumably maternal cytoplasm, and other such ‘maternal effects’ are known. But I want to apply the idea not just to mother and child but to influences on other members of the species, members of other species, even inanimate objects. If we can do this convincingly we shall no longer be justified in regarding an individual as a machine programmed to preserve its own genes. It may be programmed to preserve somebody else’s genes! […] The routes of power in the extended phenotype are less purely biochemical than the routes of power in the conventional local phenotype. In the extended phenotype we must look to behaviour rather than biochemistry. The study of animal communication turns out to be a branch of extended embryology. The same may be said of relationships between parasites and hosts, predators and prey, indeed it may be said of most of ecology. Bird song is the way it is because selection has acted on the distant phenotypic effects of genes in singing males: effects on the behaviour of rivals and females (Dawkins and Krebs 1978).

    Dawkins, R. (1978). Replicator selection and the extended phenotype. Z. Tierpsychol. 47, 61-76: 70; 73.

    a structure, a configuration of components and relations conforming an extended genotype
    Maturana, H.R. (1980). Autopoiesis: reproduction, heredity and evolution. In: Zeleny, M. (ed). Autopoiesis, Dissipative Structures, and Spontaneous Social Orders, 45-­79: 73.
    the lake [created by a beaver] may be regarded as a huge extended phenotype
    Dawkins, R. (1982). The Extended Phenotype: 200.