The multiple origins of sexual size dimorphism in global amphibians

Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel, Harvey, Lilly, Grattarola, Florencia , Jara, Manuel, Cotter, Sheena, Tregenza, Tom and Hodgson, Dave (2020) The multiple origins of sexual size dimorphism in global amphibians. Global Ecology and Biogeography . ISSN 1466-822X

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The multiple origins of sexual size dimorphism in global amphibians
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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Aim: Body size explains most variation in fitness within animal populations and is therefore under constant
selection from ecological and reproductive pressures which often promote its evolution in sex-specific
directions, leading to sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain the
vast diversity of SSD across species. These hypotheses emphasise (i) the mate competition benefits to
larger male size (sexual selection), (ii) the benefits of larger female size for fecundity (fecundity selection),
(iii) the simultaneous benefits of niche divergence for males and females to reduce inter-sexual competition
for ecological resources (natural selection), and (iv) the underlying impact of geographic variation in climatic
pressures expected to shape large-scale patterns of SSD in synergy with the above selection pressures
(e.g., intensification of fecundity selection as breeding seasons shorten). Based on a novel, global-scale
amphibian dataset, we address the shortage of large-scale, integrative tests of these four hypotheses.
Location: Global.
Time period: Extant.
Major taxa studied: Class Amphibia.
Methods: Using a >3,500 species dataset spanning body size, ecological, life history, geographic and
climatic data, we performed phylogenetic linear models to address the sexual, fecundity, ecological and
climatic hypotheses of SSD.
Results: SSD evolution is discordant between anurans and salamanders. Anuran SSD is shaped by climate
– male-biased SSD increases with temperature seasonality – and by nesting site. In salamanders, SSD
converges across species that occupy the same microhabitat types (‘ecodimorphs’), while reproductive or
climatic pressures have no effects on their SSD. These contrasts are associated with latitudinal gradients of
SSD in anurans, but not in salamanders.
Main conclusions: Amphibian SSD is driven by ecological and climatic pressures, while no roles for sexual
or fecundity selection were detected. We show that macroevolutionary processes determined by different
forms of selection lead to latitudinal patterns of trait diversity, and the lack of them.

Keywords:Fecundity selection, sexual selection, natural selection, climate, life histories, amphibians.
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C181 Biodiversity
C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:42884
Deposited On:04 Nov 2020 10:00

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