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Soft and hard selection are sometimes used with different definitions. I have been told that at first place hard and soft selection has been defined in the following way:

  • soft selection: Each deme makes the same contribution to the next generation
  • hard selection: Different demes make different contribution to the next generation

Who first described these concepts? What was the first paper?

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    $\begingroup$ Wallace, B. 1968 "Polymorphism, population size,and genetic load"? $\endgroup$ – falsum Sep 27 '15 at 4:44
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    $\begingroup$ At least in his 1975 paper "Hard and Soft Selection Revisited," Wallace says that he was the first to introduce the terms hard and soft selection in his 1968 paper that I cite above. $\endgroup$ – falsum Sep 27 '15 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ @falsum I think you can make an answer from your comment. Thanks $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Sep 28 '15 at 0:45
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I believe it's Wallace, B. 1968 "Polymorphism, population size,and genetic load" In R. C. Lewontin Population Biology and Evolution. Wallace also discusses his distinction between soft and hard selection in his 1975 paper "Hard and Soft Selection Revisited" (JSTOR link).

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    $\begingroup$ Note also Christiansen 1975 who is quite an early paper. Actually I was wondering between the who would be the first to talk about selection softness. Thank you +1 $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Sep 28 '15 at 1:23

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