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Variable Selection on Eurosta's Gall Size, I: The Extent and Nature of Variation in Phenotypic Selection

Arthur E. Weis, Warren G. Abrahamson and Mark C. Andersen
Evolution
Vol. 46, No. 6 (Dec., 1992), pp. 1674-1697
DOI: 10.2307/2410023
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410023
Page Count: 24
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Variable Selection on Eurosta's Gall Size, I: The Extent and Nature of Variation in Phenotypic Selection
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Abstract

Natural fluctuations in environmental conditions are likely to induce variation in the intensity or direction of natural selection. A long-term study of the insect, Eurosta solidaginins Fitch (Diptera; Tephritidae), which induces stem galls on the perennial herb Solidago altissima (Asteraceae) was performed to explore the patterns of variation in phenotypic selection. The intensity of selection imposed by parasitoids and predators on gallmaking larvae, for gall size, was measured across 16 populations over the course of 4 generations, for a total of 64 population-generations. Directional selection was quantified by i, the selection intensity, and variance selection by j', a measure of the intensity of selection on phenotypic variance. Size-dependent attack by parasitoids caused upward directional selection (mean ip = 0.42; SE = 0.023), while size-dependent bird attack favored larvae that induced smaller galls (mean ib = -0.07; SE = 0.013. The mean net directional selection intensity was 0.35 (SE = 0.030), which indicates that insects inducing larger galls are generally favored by selection. The opposing patterns of size-dependent attack resulted in stabilizing selection in half the population generations, with an overall average j' of -0.11 (SE = 0.078). The magnitude of directional selection was strongly influenced by the population mean gall size and weakly by the optimal gall size. The intensity of variance selection was strongly influenced by the shape of the fitness function, with sigmoidal and Gaussian-like shapes causing greater depletion of phenotypic variance.

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