Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester. DOI:10.1002/9780470015902.a0022859.
Sexual selection is a potent force shaping multiple aspects of the interaction between the sexes, including the characters underlying reproductive success and sexual conflict, and may play an important role in determining the viability of populations. Experimental evolution is a methodological approach in which researchers either act as selective agents or establish the selective pressures operating on individuals to investigate changes in traits across generations and the genetic underpinning of these changes. Experimental evolution replicates the evolutionary process under controlled conditions and, by doing so, offers exceptional insights into the role of variation, selection and adaptation in evolution. Applied to the study of pre-copulatory (before mating) and postcopulatory (after mating) sexual selection, experimental evolution proves critical to understand the evolutionary consequences of male–malecompetition and femalemate choice, and the repercussions of concurrent or divergent interests between the sexes in regard to reproduction.