Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Ecol Evol. 2008 Aug;23(8):446-52. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.04.008. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Is sexual selection beneficial during adaptation to environmental change?

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


The role of sexual selection in adaptation is disputed. A balance between sexual and viability selection can be achieved in stable environments, but environmental perturbations could change the costs and benefits arising from sexual selection and influence the rate of adaptation. Here we synthesise theoretical and empirical work on the role of sexual selection in adaptation to changed conditions. Contrasting results have been gained, but the majority of studies suggest that sexual selection has no significant effect or a negative effect on the rate of adaptation. However, once sexually selected traits start to evolve, sexual selection can accelerate adaptation. The role of sexual selection in extinction appears to be minor, but the results could be skewed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk