ADAPTATION (Reciprocal) 1)

The process through which two or more systems or populations adapt to each other.

The systems must be compatible and more or less complementary in order to allow for a process of reciprocal adaptation.

For example, some plants, when attacked by a parasite, produce terpenes, which in turn attract parasites of the parasite. As a result, a global fluctuating equilibrium (even if frequently chaotic) tends to become established.

This process has been called "rivalrous adaptability" by H.G. BURGER, who sees it as a requirement for complexity (1967, p.211)

The stability of reciprocal adaptation can be altered among interacting populations if one of the partners starts to evolve. In such a case, reciprocal adaptation can still be maintained if the other partners succeed in turn in producing workable evolutive ways to respond to the change. We then have co-evolution.

1) general information

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