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Evolutionary GeneticsConcepts, Analysis, and Practice$
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Glenn-Peter Sætre and Mark Ravinet

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198830917

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198830917.001.0001

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The theory of natural selection

The theory of natural selection

(p.69) Chapter 4 The theory of natural selection
Evolutionary Genetics

Glenn-Peter Sætre

Mark Ravinet

Oxford University Press

Natural selection is the scientific explanation for the evolution of adaptations. Wonders of the living world, such as the anatomy and physiology that grants the cheetah its unchallenged running speed; the seductive colors and scents of a flower that are irresistible to its pollinators; and the accuracy and sophistication of sense organs such as the human eye are the ultimate results of this one creative force in evolution. This chapter investigates simple models of natural selection to explore its power in causing evolutionary change. Mathematical techniques including invasion fitness analysis and adaptive landscapes are powerful tools for analyzing such models and for identifying evolutionarily stable and unstable equilibria. The chapter further investigates frequency-dependent selection and evolutionary game theory. An important goal here is to show that selection can take many different forms and yield very different evolutionary outcomes.

Keywords:   fitness, viability selection, directional selection, balancing selection, disruptive selection, invasion fitness, adaptive landscape, frequency-dependent selection, evolutionary game theory, genetic load

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