Title
How repeatbale is the estimation of fluctuating asymmetry? How repeatbale is the estimation of fluctuating asymmetry?
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Chemistry
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: series B
Volume/pages
265(1998) , p. 1423-1427
ISSN
0962-8452
ISI
000075543600009
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The estimation of individual fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is subject to large sampling variabilities. Heritability estimates, as well as correlations between developmental stability and any other individual character and/or between-trait correlations, are consequently biased downward if FA is used as an estimate of an individual's ability to buffer its development against developmental noise. The estimation of the hypothetical repeatability, defined as the ratio of the between-individual component of variation in the unsigned FA divided by the total variance, allows correction for these biases such that patterns observed for FA can be translated to make inferences about the presumed underlying developmental stability. In this paper I show that previous estimates of this repeatability are incorrect. I provide a new method and show by means of simulations that the hypothetical repeatability is in most cases even lower than previously thought. This has important consequences for the analysis of FA with respect to statistical power and the interpretation of patterns in FA.
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