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1 August 2002 ANTLER SIZE IN RED DEER: HERITABILITY AND SELECTION BUT NO EVOLUTION
Loeske E. B. Kruuk, Jon Slate, Josephine M. Pemberton, Sue Brotherstone, Fiona Guinness, Tim Clutton-Brock
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Abstract

We present estimates of the selection on and the heritability of a male secondary sexual weapon in a wild population: antler size in red deer. Male red deer with large antlers had increased lifetime breeding success, both before and after correcting for body size, generating a standardized selection gradient of 0.44 (±0.18 SE). Despite substantial age- and environment-related variation, antler size was also heritable (heritability of antler mass = 0.33 ± 0.12). However the observed selection did not generate an evolutionary response in antler size over the study period of nearly 30 years, and there was no evidence of a positive genetic correlation between antler size and fitness nor of a positive association between breeding values for antler size and fitness. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that a heritable trait under directional selection will not evolve if associations between the measured trait and fitness are determined by environmental covariances: In red deer males, for example, both antler size and success in the fights for mates may be heavily dependent on an individual's nutritional state.

Loeske E. B. Kruuk, Jon Slate, Josephine M. Pemberton, Sue Brotherstone, Fiona Guinness, and Tim Clutton-Brock "ANTLER SIZE IN RED DEER: HERITABILITY AND SELECTION BUT NO EVOLUTION," Evolution 56(8), 1683-1695, (1 August 2002). https://doi.org/10.1554/0014-3820(2002)056[1683:ASIRDH]2.0.CO;2
Received: 24 December 2001; Accepted: 16 May 2002; Published: 1 August 2002
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