Life-history variation and allometry for sexual size dimorphism in Pacific salmon and trout
PROCEEDINGS. Biological Sciences 272(1559): 167-172
Allometry for sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is common in animals, but how different evolutionary processes interact to determine allometry remains unclear. Among related species SSD (male : female) typically increases with average body size, resulting in slopes of less than 1 when female size is regressed on male size: an allometric relationship formalized as 'Rensch's rule' . Empirical studies show that taxa with male-biased SSD are more likely to satisfy Rensch's rule and that a taxon's mean SSD is negatively correlated with allometric slope, implicating sexual selection on male size as an important mechanism promoting allometry for SSD. I use body length (and life-history) data from 628 (259) populations of seven species of anadromous Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.) to show that in this genus life-history variation appears to regulate patterns of allometry both within and between species. Although all seven species have intraspecific allometric slopes of less than 1, contrary to expectation slope is unrelated to species' mean SSD, but is instead negatively correlated with two life-history variables: the species' mean marine age and variation in marine age. Second, because differences in marine age among species render SSD and body size uncorrelated, the interspecific slope is isometric. Together, these results provide an example of how evolutionary divergence in life history among related species can affect patterns of allometry for SSD across taxonomic scales.