Evolutionary Ecology

, 22:103

Ontogeny of sexual dimorphism and phenotypic integration in heritable morphs

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10682-007-9161-0

Cite this article as:
Abbott, J.K. & Svensson, E.I. Evol Ecol (2008) 22: 103. doi:10.1007/s10682-007-9161-0

Abstract

In this study we investigated the developmental basis of adult phenotypes in a non-model organism, a polymorphic damselfly (Ischnura elegans) with three female colour morphs. This polymorphic species presents an ideal opportunity to study intraspecific variation in growth trajectories, morphological variation in size and shape during the course of ontogeny, and to relate these juvenile differences to the phenotypic differences of the discrete adult phenotypes; the two sexes and the three female morphs. We raised larvae of different families in individual enclosures in the laboratory, and traced morphological changes during the course of ontogeny. We used principal components analysis to examine the effects of Sex, Maternal morph, and Own morph on body size and body shape. We also investigated the larval fitness consequences of variation in size and shape by relating these factors to emergence success. Females grew faster than males and were larger as adults, and there was sexual dimorphism in body shape in both larval and adult stages. There were also significant effects of both maternal morph and own morph on growth rate and body shape in the larval stage. There were significant differences in body shape, but not body size, between the adult female morphs, indicating phenotypic integration between colour, melanin patterning, and body shape. Individuals that emerged successfully grew faster and had different body shape in the larval stage, indicating internal (non-ecological) selection on larval morphology. Overall, morphological differences between individuals at the larval stage carried over to the adult stage. Thus, selection in the larval stage can potentially result in correlated responses in adult phenotypes and vice versa.

Keywords

Alternative phenotypes Antagonistic selection Complex life-cycle Correlational selection Mimicry Sexual conflict 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section for Animal EcologyLund UniversityLundSweden

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