directional selection

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Natural selection that favours the establishment of one particular advantageous mutation within a population, resulting in a change in phenotype in that direction. An example of directional selection is the increase in darker forms of the peppered moth (Biston betularia) that occurred in industrial areas, where the moths with darker wing coloration are better camouflaged than those with lighter wings against polluted tree trunks (see industrial melanism). Compare disruptive selection; stabilizing selection.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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