Article

Phenotypic Selection

Ryan Calsbeek

in Ecology

ISBN: 9780199830060
Published online May 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199830060-0059
Phenotypic Selection

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  • Applied Ecology (Environmental Science)
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Plant Ecology
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences

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Natural and sexual selection are the two most important facets of adaptive evolution. The two processes are closely related but may be differentiated by various components of each type. Natural selection is marked by differential viability and fecundity, while sexual selection is distinguished by variation in mating success linked to both finding mates and fertilizing eggs. Darwin distinguished between natural and sexual forms of selection because sexual selection may favor the evolution of phenotypes that are disfavored by natural selection. Irrespective of their differences, natural and sexual selection both operate by selecting individuals through variation in fitness associated with some phenotype or combination of phenotypes. Though these phenotypes must have a heritable genetic basis for evolution to occur, selection itself acts on phenotypes whether or not the traits themselves are heritable. This distinction was first realized during early work by plant and animal breeders who were subjecting stock populations to artificial selection. This work eventually led to the fields of quantitative genetics, population genetics, the “adaptive landscape” metaphor, and, later, the modern evolutionary synthesis. The readings included in this bibliography on the topic of phenotypic selection include exploration of the different forms selection can take, statistical techniques for measuring and visualizing selection, the biological changes that arise due to selection, and empirical examples of selection measured in the field and the laboratory.

Article.  7247 words. 

Subjects: Applied Ecology (Environmental Science) ; Ecology and Conservation ; Plant Ecology ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

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