The effects of resource availability and the demographic transition on the genetic correlation between number of children and grandchildren in humans
2017 (English)In: Heredity, ISSN 0018-067X, E-ISSN 1365-2540, Vol. 118, no 2, 186-192 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Studies of evolutionary change require an estimate of fitness, and lifetime reproductive success is widely used for this purpose. However, many species face a trade-off between the number and quality of offspring and in such cases number of grandoffspring may better represent the genetic contribution to future generations. Here, we apply quantitative genetic methods to a genealogical data set on humans from Finland to address how the genetic correlation between number of children and grandchildren is influenced by the severity of the trade-off between offspring quality and quantity, as estimated by different levels of resource access among individuals in the population. Further, we compare the genetic correlation before and after the demographic transition to low mortality and fertility rates. The genetic correlation was consistently high (0.79-0.92) with the strongest correlations occurring in individuals with higher access to resources and before the demographic transition, and a tendency for lower correlations in resource poor individuals and after the transition. These results indicate that number of grandoffspring is a slightly better predictor of long-term genetic fitness than number of offspring in a human population across a range of environmental conditions, and more generally, that patterns of resource availability need to be taken into account when estimating genetic covariances with fitness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2017. Vol. 118, no 2, 186-192 p.
Evolutionary Biology Genetics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319646DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2016.81ISI: 000394361600009PubMedID: 27624115OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-319646DiVA: diva2:1087543