What Is Disruptive Selection?

Disruptive selection is a type of natural selection that shows a preference toward the reproduction of genetic material at the extremes within a population, explains About.com. Disruptive selection pushes out those in a species with genes from the average of the population by selecting the extremes.

An example of disruptive selection includes the prevalent reproduction of oysters at the lightest and darkest colors within the species. By changing the normal distribution of genetic material in a population, a new species sometimes forms due to disruptive selection. Disruptive selection occurs naturally and due to external factors, such as environmental changes and human intervention.