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Sex differences in phenotypic plasticity affect variation in sexual size dimorphism in insects: from physiology to evolution


Stillwell, R Craig; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U; Teder, Tiit; Davidowitz, Goggy; Fox, Charles W (2010). Sex differences in phenotypic plasticity affect variation in sexual size dimorphism in insects: from physiology to evolution. Annual Review of Entomology, 55:227-245.

Abstract

Males and females of nearly all animals differ in their body size, a phenomenon called sexual size dimorphism (SSD). The degree and direction of SSD vary considerably among taxa, including among populations within species. A considerable amount of this variation is due to sex differences in body size plasticity. We examine how variation in these sex differences is generated by exploring sex differences in plasticity in growth rate and development time and the physiological regulation of these differences (e.g., sex differences in regulation by the endocrine system). We explore adaptive hypotheses proposed to explain sex differences in plasticity, including those that predict that plasticity will be lowest for traits under strong selection (adaptive canalization) or greatest for traits under strong directional selection (condition dependence), but few studies have tested these hypotheses. Studies that combine proximate and ultimate mechanisms offer great promise for understanding variation in SSD and sex differences in body size plasticity in insects.

Males and females of nearly all animals differ in their body size, a phenomenon called sexual size dimorphism (SSD). The degree and direction of SSD vary considerably among taxa, including among populations within species. A considerable amount of this variation is due to sex differences in body size plasticity. We examine how variation in these sex differences is generated by exploring sex differences in plasticity in growth rate and development time and the physiological regulation of these differences (e.g., sex differences in regulation by the endocrine system). We explore adaptive hypotheses proposed to explain sex differences in plasticity, including those that predict that plasticity will be lowest for traits under strong selection (adaptive canalization) or greatest for traits under strong directional selection (condition dependence), but few studies have tested these hypotheses. Studies that combine proximate and ultimate mechanisms offer great promise for understanding variation in SSD and sex differences in body size plasticity in insects.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:sexual dimorphism; body size; sexual selection; development; Rensch's rule
Language:English
Date:January 2010
Deposited On:16 Jul 2010 10:00
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:11
Publisher:Annual Reviews
ISSN:0066-4170
Funders:Postdoctoral Excellence in Research and Teaching fellowship [1 K12 GM00708]; University of Zurich ; Swiss National Fund ; Estonian Science Foundation [6619, 7522]; Estonian Ministry of Education and Science [SF0180122s08]; European Union ; Kentu
Additional Information:Type: Review
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-112408-085500
Other Identification Number:ISI:000273712100013
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-34907

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