Knowledge of how phenotype influences fitness is necessary if we are to understand the basis of natural selection and how natural selection contributes to adaptive radiations. Here I quantify selection on a wild population of red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra complex) in the South Hills, Idaho. Bill depth is the target of selection and selection on bill depth is stabilizing. I then show how fitness is related to both bill depth and performance. I use these and previously published relationships to estimate a fitness surface for five species of red crossbills that are part of an ongoing adaptive radiation in western North America. The fitness surface for crossbills has distinct peaks and valleys, with each crossbill species residing on or very near the summits. This work strongly supports a key tenet of the ecological theory of adaptive radiations; namely, divergent selection for utilizing alternative resources is the ultimate cause of adaptive radiations.
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Vol. 57 • No. 5