A. Generalized plasticity response to environmental change. The environment is
sensed by an organism exhibiting phenotype 1. The genes of this organism respond by a
physiological change producing phenotype 2. This response to environmental influences can
occur in a single individual or from one generation to the next.
B. Schematic representation of the plastic response in Scenedesmus. The environment affects phenotypes 1, 2, and 3 causing the production of the next phenotype in the cycle. Often a mixture of phenotypes would be found in nature for there is genetic variation for plasticity within a single population and because environmental circumstances are not uniform throughout the range of distribution of the population (even within the same locality).