Social effects on annual fitness in red squirrels

Andrew McAdam, Quinn Webber, Ben Dantzer, Jeff Lane & Stan Boutin
When resources are limited, mean fitness is constrained and competition can cause genes and phenotypes to enhance an individual’s own fitness while reducing the fitness of their competitors. Negative social effects on fitness have the potential to constrain adaptation, but the interplay between ecological opportunity and social constraints on adaptation remains poorly studied in nature. Here, we tested for evidence of phenotypic social effects on annual fitness (survival and reproductive success) in a long-term study...
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