The interpretation of selection coefficients Journal Article

Author(s): Barton, Nicholas H; Servedio, Maria R
Article Title: The interpretation of selection coefficients
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Evolutionary biologists have an array of powerful theoretical techniques that can accurately predict changes in the genetic composition of populations. Changes in gene frequencies and genetic associations between loci can be tracked as they respond to a wide variety of evolutionary forces. However, it is often less clear how to decompose these various forces into components that accurately reflect the underlying biology. Here, we present several issues that arise in the definition and interpretation of selection and selection coefficients, focusing on insights gained through the examination of selection coefficients in multilocus notation. Using this notation, we discuss how its flexibility-which allows different biological units to be identified as targets of selection-is reflected in the interpretation of the coefficients that the notation generates. In many situations, it can be difficult to agree on whether loci can be considered to be under "direct" versus "indirect" selection, or to quantify this selection. We present arguments for what the terms direct and indirect selection might best encompass, considering a range of issues, from viability and sexual selection to kin selection. We show how multilocus notation can discriminate between direct and indirect selection, and describe when it can do so.
Keywords: Kin selection; direct selection; Indirect selection; Multilocus selection
Journal Title: Evolution
Volume: 69
Issue 5
ISSN: 1558-5646
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell  
Date Published: 2015-05-01
Start Page: 1101
End Page: 1112
Sponsor: This work was supported by a grant from the European Research Council, ERC-2009-AdG-250152, to NB and a National Science Foundation grant, DEB 1255777, to MRS.
DOI: 10.1111/evo.12641
Open access: yes (repository)