A phylogenetic analysis of sex-specific evolution of ecological morphology in Liolaemus lizards

Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel, Hodgson, David J., Stipala, Jan and Tregenza, Tom (2009) A phylogenetic analysis of sex-specific evolution of ecological morphology in Liolaemus lizards. Ecological Research, 24 (6). pp. 1223-1231. ISSN 0912-3814

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11284-009-0607-4

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Item Type:Article
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Adaptive radiation theory predicts that phenotypic traits involved in ecological performance evolve in different directions in populations subjected to divergent natural selection, resulting in the evolution of ecological diversity. This idea has largely been supported through comparative studies exploring relationships between ecological preferences and quantitative traits among different species. However, intersexual perspectives are often ignored. Indeed, although it is well established that intersexual competition and sex-specific parental and reproductive roles may often subject sex-linked phenotypes to antagonistic selection effects, most ecomorphological research has explored adaptive evolution on a single sex, or on means obtained from both sexes together. The few studies taking sexual differences into account reveal the occurrence of sex-specific ecomorphs in some clades of lizards, and conclude that the independent contribution of the sexes to the morphological diversity produced by adaptive radiation can be substantial. Here, we investigate whether microhabitat use results in the evolution of sex-specific ecomorphs across 44 Liolaemus lizard species. We found that microhabitat structure does not predict variation in body size and shape in either of the sexes. Yet, we found that males and females tend to occupy significantly different positions in multivariate morphological spaces, indicating that treating males and females as ecologically and phenotypically equivalent units may lead to incomplete or mistaken estimations of the diversity produced by adaptive evolution. © The Ecological Society of Japan 2009.

Keywords:adaptive radiation, antagonism, comparative study, convergent evolution, divergence, ecomorphology, habitat use, intersexual interaction, lizard, microhabitat, natural selection, phenotype, phylogenetics, sexual dimorphism, species diversity, Liolaemus, Squamata
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:9012
Deposited On:01 May 2013 16:24

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