Reproductive success is defined as the passing of genes onto the next generation in a way that they too can pass on those genes. In practice, this is often a tally of the number of offspring produced by an individual. A more correct definition, which incorporates inclusive fitness, is the relative production of fertile offspring by a genotype. For example, the offspring produced as a result of normal mating are an example of reproductive success, because they too can pass their genetic material on to the next generation. Alternatively, the birth of a mule as a result of the mating of a horse and a donkey is not an example of reproductive success because the mule is sterile and thus not able to continue the germ line.
- T. H. Clutton-Brock (editor). (1990) Reproductive Success : Studies of Individual Variation in Contrasting Breeding Systems University Of Chicago Press.
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