The evolution of sexual dimorphism is an important topic of evolutionary biology, but few studies have investigated the determinants of sexual dimorphism over broad phylogenetic scales. The number of vertebrae is a discrete character influencing multiple traits of individuals, and is particularly suitable to analyze processes determining morphological variation. We evaluated the support of multiple hypotheses concerning evolutionary processes that may cause sexual dimorphism in the number of caudal vertebrae in Urodela (tailed amphibians). We obtained counts of caudal vertebrae from >2,000 individuals representing 27 species of salamanders and newts from Europe and the Near East, and integrated these data with a molecular phylogeny and multiple information on species natural history. Per each species, we estimated sexual dimorphism in caudal vertebrae number. We then used phylogenetic least squares to relate this sexual dimorphism to natural history features (courtship complexity, body size dimorphism, sexual ornamentation, aquatic phenology) representing alternative hypotheses on processes that may explain sexual dimorphism. In 18 % of species, males had significantly more caudal vertebrae than females, while in no species did females have significantly more caudal vertebrae. Dimorphism was highest in species where males have more complex courtship behaviours, while the support of other candidate mechanisms was weak. In many species, males use the tail during courtship displays, and sexual selection probably favours tails with more vertebrae. Dimorphism for the number of tail vertebrae was unrelated to other forms of dimorphism, such as sexual ornamentation or body size differences. Multiple sexually dimorphic features may evolve independently because of the interplay between sexual selection, fecundity and natural selection.
Ficetola, G., Bonardi, A., Colleoni, E., Padoa Schioppa, E., & Scali, S. (2013). Evolution of Sexual Dimorphism in the Number of Tail Vertebrae in Salamanders: Comparing Multiple Hypotheses. EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 40(2), 220-227 [10.1007/s11692-012-9203-6].
|Citazione:||Ficetola, G., Bonardi, A., Colleoni, E., Padoa Schioppa, E., & Scali, S. (2013). Evolution of Sexual Dimorphism in the Number of Tail Vertebrae in Salamanders: Comparing Multiple Hypotheses. EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, 40(2), 220-227 [10.1007/s11692-012-9203-6].|
|Tipo:||Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||No|
|Titolo:||Evolution of Sexual Dimorphism in the Number of Tail Vertebrae in Salamanders: Comparing Multiple Hypotheses|
|Autori:||Ficetola, G; Bonardi, A; Colleoni, E; Padoa Schioppa, E; Scali, S|
FICETOLA, GENTILE FRANCESCO (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11692-012-9203-6|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su rivista|