Section 61
Chapter 60,362

The interplay between natural and sexual selection in the evolution of sexual size dimorphism in Sceloporus lizards (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae)

Jiménez-Arcos, Víctor.H.; Sanabria-Urbán, Són.; Cueva Del Castillo, Rúl.

Ecology and Evolution 7(3): 905-917


ISSN/ISBN: 2045-7758
PMID: 28168027
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2572
Accession: 060361461

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Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) evolves because body size is usually related to reproductive success through different pathways in females and males. Female body size is strongly correlated with fecundity, while in males, body size is correlated with mating success. In many lizard species, males are larger than females, whereas in others, females are the larger sex, suggesting that selection on fecundity has been stronger than sexual selection on males. As placental development or egg retention requires more space within the abdominal cavity, it has been suggested that females of viviparous lizards have larger abdomens or body size than their oviparous relatives. Thus, it would be expected that females of viviparous species attain larger sizes than their oviparous relatives, generating more biased patterns of SSD. We test these predictions using lizards of the genus Sceloporus. After controlling for phylogenetic effects, our results confirm a strong relationship between female body size and fecundity, suggesting that selection for higher fecundity has had a main role in the evolution of female body size. However, oviparous and viviparous females exhibit similar sizes and allometric relationships. Even though there is a strong effect of body size on female fecundity, once phylogenetic effects are considered, we find that the slope of male on female body size is significantly larger than one, providing evidence of greater evolutionary divergence of male body size. These results suggest that the relative impact of sexual selection acting on males has been stronger than fecundity selection acting on females within Sceloporus lizards.

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