Data from: Sexual selection has minimal impact on effective population sizes in species with high rates of random offspring mortality: an empirical demonstration using fitness distributions
Pischedda, Alison et al. (2015), Data from: Sexual selection has minimal impact on effective population sizes in species with high rates of random offspring mortality: an empirical demonstration using fitness distributions, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.65r63
The effective population size (Ne) is a fundamental parameter in population genetics that influences the rate of loss of genetic diversity. Sexual selection has the potential to reduce Ne by causing the sex-specific distributions of individuals that successfully reproduce to diverge. To empirically estimate the effect of sexual selection on Ne, we obtained fitness distributions for males and females from an outbred, laboratory-adapted population of Drosophila melanogaster. We observed strong sexual selection in this population (the variance in male reproductive success was ∼14 times higher than that for females), but found that sexual selection had only a modest effect on Ne, which was 75% of the census size. This occurs because the substantial random offspring mortality in this population diminishes the effects of sexual selection on Ne, a result that necessarily applies to other high fecundity species. The inclusion of this random offspring mortality creates a scaling effect that reduces the variance/mean ratios for male and female reproductive success and causes them to converge. Our results demonstrate that measuring reproductive success without considering offspring mortality can underestimate Ne and overestimate the genetic consequences of sexual selection. Similarly, comparing genetic diversity among different genomic components may fail to detect strong sexual selection.