What Is Stabilizing Selection?

Stabilizing selection is one form of natural selection, which states that individuals that are best able to adapt to their environments are more likely to live to reproduce. The beneficial adaptations are passed along to their young. Within the model of stabilizing selection, average individuals have the advantage.

In stabilizing selection, the majority of a given population is best adapted for survival instead of individuals with extreme characteristics. Because of this, a population's diversity is reduced. However, gene mutation helps keep members of the population from becoming identical. Stabilizing selection most often occurs in genetic traits that are caused by more than one gene.