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Classical population genetics theory predicts that selection should deplete heritable genetic variance for fitness. We show here that, consistent with this prediction, there was a negative correlation between the heritability of a trait and its association with fitness in a wild population of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and there was no evidence of(More)
The fitness consequences of inbreeding and outbreeding are poorly understood in natural populations. We explore two microsatellite-based variables, individual heterozygosity (likely to correlate with recent inbreeding) and a new individual-specific internal distance measure, mean d2 (focusing on events deeper in the pedigree), in relation to two measures of(More)
We present estimates of the selection on and the heritability of a male secondary sexual weapon in a wild population: antler size in red deer. Male red deer with large antlers had increased lifetime breeding success, both before and after correcting for body size, generating a standardized selection gradient of 0.44 (+/- 0.18 SE). Despite substantial age-(More)
Many mammal populations show significant deviations from an equal sex ratio at birth, but these effects are notoriously inconsistent. This may be because more than one mechanism affects the sex ratio and the action of these mechanisms depends on environmental conditions. Here we show that the adaptive relationship between maternal dominance and offspring(More)
In polygynous, sexually dimorphic species, sexual selection should be stronger in males than in females. Although this prediction extends to the effects of early development on fitness, few studies have documented early determinants of lifetime reproductive success in a natural mammal population. In this paper, we describe factors affecting the reproductive(More)
In sexually dimorphic mammals, high population density is commonly associated with increased mortality of males relative to females and with female-biased adult sex ratios. This paper investigates the consequences of these changes on the distribution of male breeding success, the intensity of competition for females and the opportunity for sexual selection.(More)
A previous review of inbreeding in natural populations suggested that close inbreeding (inbreeding coefficient f = 0.25) is generally rare in wild birds and mammals. However, the review did not assess rates of moderate inbreeding (f = 0.125), which may make a rather larger contribution to overall inbreeding in a population. Furthermore, previous studies may(More)
For red deer stags, fighting both has appreciable costs and yields considerable benefits. Up to 6 % of rutting stags are permanently injured each year, while fighting success and reproductive success are closely related, within age groups as well as across them. Fighting behaviour is sensitive to changes in the potential benefits of fighting: stags fight(More)
By determining access to limited resources, social dominance is often an important determinant of fitness. Thus, if heritable, standard theory predicts mean dominance should evolve. However, dominance is usually inferred from the tendency to win contests, and given one winner and one loser in any dyadic contest, the mean proportion won will always equal(More)