Our understanding of selection in nature stems mainly from whole-season and cross-sectional estimates of selection gradients. These estimates suggest that selection is relatively constant within, but fluctuates between seasons. However, the strength of selection depends on demographics, and because demographics can vary within seasons, there is a gap in our understanding regarding the extent to which seasonal fluctuations in demographics may cause variation in selection. Here we use two populations of the golden orb-web spider (Nephila plumipes) that differ in density to examine how demographics change within a season and whether there are correlated shifts in selection. We demonstrate that there is within-season variation in sex ratio and density at multiple spatial and temporal scales. This variation led to changes in the competitive challenges that males encountered at different times of the season and was correlated with significant variation in selection gradients on male size and weight between sampling periods. We highlight the importance of understanding the biology of the organism under study to correctly determine the relevant scale in which to examine selection. We also argue that studies may underestimate the true variation in selection by averaging values, leading to misinterpretation of the effect of selection on phenotypic evolution.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 62 • No. 9