Trait-fitness associations do not predict within-species phenotypic evolution over 2 million years

Emanuela Di Martino & Lee Hsiang Liow
Long-term patterns of phenotypic change are the cumulative results of tens of thousands to millions of years of evolution. Yet, empirical and theoretical studies of phenotypic selection are largely based on contemporary populations. The challenges in studying phenotypic evolution, in particular trait-fitness associations in the deep past, are barriers to linking micro- and macroevolution. Here, we capitalize on the unique opportunity offered by a marine colonial organism commonly preserved in the fossil record to investigate...
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