An evolutionary quantitative genetics model for phenotypic (co)variance under limited dispersal, with an application to socially synergistic traits

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Charles Mullon, Laurent Lehmann


Darwinian evolution consists of the gradual transformation of heritable traits due to natural selection and the input of random variation by mutation. Here, we use a quantitative genetics approach to investigate the coevolution of multiple quantitative traits under selection, mutation, and limited dispersal. We track the dynamics of trait means and variance-covariances between traits that experience frequency-dependent selection. Assuming a multivariate-normal trait distribution, we recover classical dynamics of quantitative genetics, as well as stability and evolutionary branching conditions of invasion analyses, except that due to limited dispersal, selection depends on indirect fitness effects and relatedness. In particular, correlational selection that associates different traits within -individuals depends on the fitness effects of such associations between -individuals. We find that these kin selection effects can be as relevant as pleiotropy for the evolution of correlation between traits. We illustrate this with an example of the coevolution of two social traits whose association within-individuals is costly but synergistically beneficial between-individuals. As dispersal becomes limited and relatedness increases, assoc...Continue Reading

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