Elements of a Quantitative Genetic Model of Life History Evolution

  • Russell Lande
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Much of the theory of life history evolution is based on optimization models that attempt to predict the equilibrium state(s) of a population by maximizing its growth rate, subject to ad hoc constraints and trade-offs between individual growth, reproduction, and survival (Stearns 1977). However, the types of evolutionary processes that produce life histories that are optimal in some sense can only be determined from genetic models of selection in age-structured populations (Charlesworth 1980). For example, frequency-dependent selection can produce maladaptive evolution, decreasing the mean fitness in a population (Wright 1969, Chapter 5). Despite their greater complexity, genetic models incorporating evolutionary constraints in measurable patterns of genetic variation and natural selection have the advantage of providing a dynamic rather than a static description of evolution and provide a framework for quantitative testing of hypotheses about constraints on life history evolution.


Additive Genetic Variance Life History Evolution Garter Snake Negative Genetic Correlation Quantitative Genetic Model 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Lande
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biophysics and Theoretical BiologyUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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