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Fitness and density-dependent population growth in Drosophila melanogaster.


The density-dependent rates of population growth were determined for 26 populations of Drosophila melanogaster maintained in the serial transfer system. Twenty-five populations were homozygous for an entire chromosome 2 sampled from nature; the other was a random heterozygous population. Rates of population growth around the carrying capacity cannot explain the large fitness depression of these lines. However, the homozygous lines show large differences in rates of population growth at low densities relative to the random heterozygous standard. The average relative fitness of the homozygous lines, as determined from the growth rates at the lowest density, is 0.51.

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