We generally expect traits to evolve in the same direction as selection. However, many organisms possess traits that appear to be costly for individuals, while plant and animal breeding experiments reveal that selection may lead to no response or even negative responses to selection. We formalize both of these instances as cases of “opposite responses to selection.” Using quantitative genetic models for the response to selection, we outline when opposite responses to selection should be expected. These typically occur when social selection opposes direct selection, when individuals interact with others less related to them than a random member of the population, and if the genetic covariance between direct and indirect effects is negative. We discuss the likelihood of each of these occurring in nature and therefore summarize how frequent opposite responses to selection are likely to be. This links several evolutionary phenomena within a single framework.
Bibliographical noteTri‐agency Institutional Programs Secretariat's Canada 150 Chairs Program
- Hamilton's rule
- indirect genetic effects
- multilevel selection
- response to selection