Defining tolerance as a norm of reaction

  • Simms E
  • 117


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 98


    Citations of this article.


Tolerance of an environmental factor is the ability to maintain fitness in the face of stress imposed by that factor. A tolerant genotype minimizes the decline in fitness from that achieved in a relatively benign environment to that produced in environments with more stressful levels of the factor. Hence, tolerance is a phenotypically plastic characteristic of a genotype that can be assessed only by measuring the genotype's fitness in more than one environment. The genotype's tolerance is characterized by the shape of the fitness reaction norm along the environmental gradient whereas the overall height of the function represents its general vigor.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Compensation
  • Damage
  • General vigor
  • Herbivory
  • Plant fitness
  • Stress
  • Tolerance

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Ellen L. Simms

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free