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Interrelations of global macroecological patterns in wing and thorax size, sexual size dimorphism, and range size of the Drosophilidae


Rohner, Patrick T; Pitnick, Scott; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U; Snook, Rhonda R; Bächli, Gerhard; Lüpold, Stefan (2018). Interrelations of global macroecological patterns in wing and thorax size, sexual size dimorphism, and range size of the Drosophilidae. Ecography:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Support for macroecological rules in insects is mixed, with potential confounding interrelations between patterns rarely studied. We here investigate global patterns in body and wing size, sexual size dimorphism and range size in common fruit flies (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and explore potential interrelations and the predictive power of Allen's, Bergmann's, Rensch's and Rapoport's rules. We found that thorax length (r2 = 0.05) and wing size (r2 = 0.09) increased with latitude, supporting Bergmann's rule. Contrary to patterns often found in endothermic vertebrates, relative wing size increased towards the poles (r2 = 0.12), a pattern against Allen's rule, which we attribute to selection for increased flight capacity in the cold. Sexual size dimorphism decreased with size, evincing Rensch's rule across the family (r2 = 0.14). Yet, this pattern was largely driven by the virilis – repleta radiation and only weakly in other lineages. Finally, range size did not correlate with latitude, although a positive relationship with latitude was present in a subset of the species investigated, providing no convincing evidence for Rapoport's rule. We further found little support for confounding interrelations between body size, wing loading and range size in this taxon. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that studying several traits simultaneously at minimum permits better interpretation in case of multiple, potentially conflicting trends or hypotheses concerning the macroecology of insects.

Abstract

Support for macroecological rules in insects is mixed, with potential confounding interrelations between patterns rarely studied. We here investigate global patterns in body and wing size, sexual size dimorphism and range size in common fruit flies (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and explore potential interrelations and the predictive power of Allen's, Bergmann's, Rensch's and Rapoport's rules. We found that thorax length (r2 = 0.05) and wing size (r2 = 0.09) increased with latitude, supporting Bergmann's rule. Contrary to patterns often found in endothermic vertebrates, relative wing size increased towards the poles (r2 = 0.12), a pattern against Allen's rule, which we attribute to selection for increased flight capacity in the cold. Sexual size dimorphism decreased with size, evincing Rensch's rule across the family (r2 = 0.14). Yet, this pattern was largely driven by the virilis – repleta radiation and only weakly in other lineages. Finally, range size did not correlate with latitude, although a positive relationship with latitude was present in a subset of the species investigated, providing no convincing evidence for Rapoport's rule. We further found little support for confounding interrelations between body size, wing loading and range size in this taxon. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that studying several traits simultaneously at minimum permits better interpretation in case of multiple, potentially conflicting trends or hypotheses concerning the macroecology of insects.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
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:Allen’s rule, Bergmann’s Rule, clinal variation, Diptera, Drosophilidae, dispersal, Rapoport’s Rule, Rensch’s Rule, wing loading
Language:English
Date:January 2018
Deposited On:02 Mar 2018 19:41
Last Modified:18 Apr 2018 11:49
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0906-7590
Funders:Forschungskredit of the University of Zurich (FK-15-090, Swiss National Science Foundation (31003A-143787 and PZ00P3_154767), U.S. National Science Foundation (DEB-1145965)
Additional Information:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ecography, 2018, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.03382. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms).
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.03382
Project Information:
  • : Funder
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleForschungskredit of the University of Zurich (FK-15-090
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleSwiss National Science Foundation (31003A-143787 and PZ00P3_154767)
  • : Funder
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleU.S. National Science Foundation (DEB-1145965)

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