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The Adaptive Landscape in Evolutionary Biology$
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Erik Svensson and Ryan Calsbeek

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595372.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2022

The Adaptive Landscape in Sexual Selection Research

The Adaptive Landscape in Sexual Selection Research

(p.110) Chapter 8 The Adaptive Landscape in Sexual Selection Research
The Adaptive Landscape in Evolutionary Biology

Adam G. Jones

Nicholas L. Ratterman

Kimberly A. Paczolt

Oxford University Press

Sexual selection has produced some of the most impressively bizarre traits in the natural world. This process is often studied from a behavioural standpoint, which is understandable given the central roles of mating competition and mating preferences in sexual selection. However, much can be gained by remembering that sexual selection is a form of selection, and as such it can be profitably studied within the framework provided by formal selection theory. This chapter discusses how the individual selection surface and adaptive landscape can be conceptualized in the context of sexual selection. Even though sexual selection contains an element of frequency-dependent selection, which causes problems for the adaptive landscape metaphor, the quantification of selection coefficients can nevertheless provide profound insights into the nature of sexual selection. The chapter also discusses how one particular manifestation of a selection surface, namely the relationship between mating success and reproductive success, as embodied by the Bateman gradient, can help us understand the cause of sexual selection and facilitate comparisons across systems. However, our understanding of this process is in a state of flux, as recent research reveals striking temporal and spatial variation in the intensity of sexual selection. The chapter concludes by discussing the many challenges facing scientists studying sexual selection and suggest that many obstacles can be overcome by embracing the adaptive landscape framework.

Keywords:   sexual selection, selection surface, fitness, mate choice, Bateman gradient, opportunity for selection, selection gradient, selection differential

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