(redirected from environmental variation) Also found in: Encyclopedia.
the ability of an organism to alter greatly its PHENOTYPE depending upon environmental conditions. The phenomenon is seen most clearly in plants, perhaps because they are fixed in the ground. For example, a dandelion will produce an erect habit with long flower stalks if in a garden border with other plants. Another dandelion with a similar genotype will produce a PROCUMBENT habit with short flower stalks if grown in a garden lawn.