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The Measurement of Selection on Correlated Characters

Russell Lande and Stevan J. Arnold
Evolution
Vol. 37, No. 6 (Nov., 1983), pp. 1210-1226
DOI: 10.2307/2408842
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408842
Page Count: 17
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The Measurement of Selection on Correlated Characters
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Abstract

Multivariate statistical methods are derived for measuring selection solely from observed changes in the distribution of phenotypic characters in a population within a generation. Selective effects are readily detectable in characters that do not change with age, such as meristic traits or adult characters in species with determinate growth. Ontogenetic characters, including allometric growth rates, can be analyzed in longitudinal studies where individuals are followed through time. Following an approach pioneered by Pearson (1903), this analysis helps to reveal the target(s) of selection, and to quantify its intensity, without identifying the selective agent(s). By accounting for indirect selection through correlated characters, separate forces of directional and stabilizing (or disruptive) selection acting directly on each character can be measured. These directional and stabilizing selection coefficients are respectively the parameters that describe the best linear and quadratic approximations to the selective surface of individual fitness as a function of the phenotypic characters. The theory is illustrated by estimating selective forces on morphological characters influencing survival in pentatomid bugs and in house sparrows during severe weather conditions.

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