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What Is Group Selection?

What Is Group Selection?

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 What Is Group Selection?
Source:
Adaptation in Metapopulations
Author(s):
Michael J. Wade
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226129877.003.0002

In this chapter, the efficacy of group selection and the debates over it role, if any, in natural populations is discussed from the perspective of two different contexts. One debate is centered on the existence of group adaptations. Individuals are deconstructed into their component adaptations and, for each such trait, the question is asked, “Who benefits?” If a trait benefits individuals, then it evolved as an adaptation for individuals by individual selection. If it is a trait that benefits groups, then it evolved as an adaptation for groups by group selection. The second debate is based in evolutionary genetics and multilevel selection with its roots in quantitative genetics and animal breeding. The genetic basis of a response to individual or group selection is important to one context but not to the other.

Keywords:   direct fitness effects, family selection, group heritability, heritability, indirect fitness effects, individual selection

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