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stabilizing selectionstabilisierende Selektion (ger.)

  • The stabilizing influence of natural selection in an environment that changes little in space and time. It tends to inhibit evolutionary innovation, and accounts for the fact that many fossil groups changed very little over long periods of time. (Oxford Dict. of Zoology 2009)

    Stabilizing selection can scarcely be other than exceptional, yet it may be expected to arise in several ways. A Batesian mimic, for example, will receive less protection, the more numerous it is in comparison with its model; a dimorphic Batesian mimic will therefore adjust the numbers of its two forms, if these are dependent upon a single Mendelian factor, until they receive equal protection; any increase in the numbers of one form at the expense of the other would diminish the advantage of the former and increase that of the latter, thus producing a selective action tending to restore the original proportion.

    Fisher, R.A. (1930). The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection: 166.


    stabilisierende Selektion

    Schmalhausen, I.I. (1939). Wege und Gesetzmäßigkeiten des Evolutionsprozesses (russ.); id. (1941). Die stabilisierende Auslese und ihr Platz unter den Evolutionsfaktoren. Z. allg. Biol. (russ.) Nr. 2; id. (1946). Faktory évoljucii. Teorija stabilizirujuscego otbora. (engl. Factors of Evolution. The Theory of Stabilizing Selection, Philadelphia 1949).


    the action of selection may be classified into three basic types. It may favour one extreme phenotype at the expense of all others, as is commonly the case with artificial selection in domesticated plants and animals (directional selection). It may favour the average expression at the expense of both extremes (stabilizing selection). Or, finally, it may favour both extremes simultaneously, though not necessarily to the same extent, at the expense of the average (disruptive selection).

    Mather, K. (1953). The genetical structure of populations. Symp. Soc. Exper. Biol. 7, 66-95: 73.


    stabilizing selection Selection for the mean or intermediate phenotype with the consequent elimination of peripheral variants, maintaining an existing state of adaptation in a stable environment; centripetal selection; normalizing selection; cf. directional selection, disruptive selection.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 233.