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Trade-off between r-selection and K-selection in Drosophila populations.


Density-dependent genetic evolution was tested in experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster subject for eight generations to natural selection under high (K-selection) or low (r-selection) population density regimes. The test consisted of determining at high and at low densities the per capita rate of population growth of the selected populations. At high densities, the K-selected populations showed a higher per capita rate of population growth than did r-selected populations, but the reverse was true at low densities. These results corroborate the predictions derived from formal models of density-dependent selection. However, no evidence of a trade-off in per capita rate of growth was observed in 25 populations of D. melanogaster, each homozygous for a different second chromosome sampled from a natural population.

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