maintenance evolution

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(stabilizing selection, normalizing selection

) The stabilizing influence of natural selection in an environment that changes little in space and time. It occurs in populations that have a normal distribution for variations of a particular phenotypic characteristic; the extremes tend to be eliminated. It tends to inhibit evolutionary innovation, and accounts for the fact that many fossil groups changed very little over long periods of time. See also directional selection and disruptive selection.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.

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