Sexual selection and temporal phenotypic variation in a damselfly population


Mark A. McPeek, Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.
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Temporal variation in selection can be generated by temporal variation in either the fitness surface or phenotypic distributions around a static fitness surface, or both concurrently. Here, we use within- and between-generation sampling of fitness surfaces and phenotypic distributions over 2 years to investigate the causes of temporal variation in the form of sexual selection on body size in the damselfly Enallagma aspersum. Within a year, when the average female body size differed substantially from the average male body size, male body size experienced directional selection. In contrast, when male and female size distributions overlapped, male body size experienced stabilizing selection when variances in body size were large, but no appreciable selection when the variances in body size were small. The causes of temporal variation in the form of selection can only be inferred by accounting for changes in both the fitness surface and changes in the distribution of phenotypes.