Hedging one's evolutionary bets, revisited

Trends Ecol Evol. 1989 Feb;4(2):41-4. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(89)90138-9.


Evolutionary bet-hedging involves a trade-off between the mean and variance of fitness, such that phenotypes with reduced mean fitness may be at a selective advantage under certain conditions. The theory of bet-hedging was first formulated in the 1970s, and recent empirical studies suggest that the process may operate in a wide range of plant and animal species.