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Understanding the mechanisms driving the evolution of mate choice, particularly the importance of indirect genetic benefits, remains a challenge, especially in wild populations. Three recent studies have attempted to quantify the importance of indirect benefits in wild bird populations using approaches derived from quantitative genetic models of mate choice. In all three cases, no support was found for a role of indirect benefits in the evolution of mate choice. These studies suggest that a quantitative genetic approach can illuminate this long-standing problem and that alternative models for the evolution of mate preferences should be tested in wild populations.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Ecol Evol

Publication Date





417 - 419


Animals, Biological Evolution, Female, Genetic Variation, Male, Models, Genetic, Sexual Behavior, Animal