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Repeatability estimates do not always set an upper limit to heritability
Article first published online: 19 APR 2002
Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 273–280, April 2002
How to Cite
M. R., D. (2002), Repeatability estimates do not always set an upper limit to heritability. Functional Ecology, 16: 273–280. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.2002.00621.x
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2002
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2002
- Received 25 April 2001; revised 17 July 2001; accepted 2 August 2001
- common environmental effects;
- genotype–environment interaction;
- maternal effects;
- performance measures
- 1The concept of repeatability, the measurement of consistent individual differences, has become an increasingly important tool in evolutionary and ecological physiology. Significant repeatability facilitates the study of selection acting on natural populations and the concept has several practical implications for identifying traits.
- 2When properly defined and measured, repeatability can set the upper limit to heritability. This is potentially a very useful interpretation of the repeatability of traits measured on natural populations because often, estimates of heritability cannot be obtained. Many recent reports of repeatability of individual differences for traits have made this interpretation.
- 3However, repeatability estimates may not set an upper limit to heritability if: (a) measured traits are not genetically identical, (b) common environmental effects work in opposition to direct genetic effects, (c) the temporary environments for each trait are negatively correlated, (d) significant genotype–environment interaction is present, or (e) the traits are influenced by maternal effects.
- 4The quantitative genetic theory that defines the concept of repeatability is reviewed and implications of violations of the five assumptions are discussed in the context of interpreting repeatability as an upper estimate to heritability.