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Ecology and mating competition influence sexual dimorphism in Tanganyikan cichlids
Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
Uppsala universitet, Populationsbiologi och naturvårdsbiologi.
Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5791-336X
2012 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, E-ISSN 1573-8477, Vol. 26, no 1, 171-185 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sexual selection contributes strongly to the evolution of sexual dimorphism among animal taxa. However, recent comparative analyses have shown that evolution of sexual dimorphism can be influenced by extrinsic factors like mating system and environment, and also that different types of sexual dimorphism may present distinct evolutionary pathways. Investigating the co-variation among different types of sexual dimorphism and their association with environmental factors can therefore provide important information about the mechanisms generating variation in sexual dimorphism among contemporary species. Using phylogenetic comparative analyses comparing 49 species of Tanganyikan cichlid fishes, we first investigated the pairwise relationship between three types of sexual dimorphism [size dimorphism (SSD), colour dimorphism (COD) and shape dimorphism (SHD)] and how they were related to the strength of pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. We then investigated the influence of ecological features on sexual dimorphism. Our results showed that although SSD was associated with the overall strength of sexual selection it was not related to other types of sexual dimorphism. Also, SSD co-varied with female size and spawning habitat, suggesting a role for female adaptations to spawn in small crevices and shells influencing SSD in this group. Further, COD and SHD were positively associated and both show positive relationships with the strength of sexual selection. Finally, the level of COD and SHD was related to habitat complexity. Our results thus highlight distinct evolutionary pathways for different types of sexual dimorphism and further that ecological factors have influenced the evolution of sexual dimorphism in Tanganyikan cichlid fishes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 26, no 1, 171-185 p.
Keyword [en]
Sexual dimorphism, Phylogenetic principal component analysis, Habitat, Diet, Depth, Adaptive radiation
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116497DOI: 10.1007/s10682-011-9489-3ISI: 000298105900013OAI: diva2:806563
Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2015-04-20 Last updated: 2015-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Tsuboi, MasahitoGonzalez-Voyer, AlejandroKolm, Niclas
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