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Fecundity selection predicts Bergmann's rule in syngnathid fishes


Wilson, Anthony B (2009). Fecundity selection predicts Bergmann's rule in syngnathid fishes. Molecular Ecology, 18(6):1263-1272.

Abstract

The study of latitudinal increases in organismal body size (Bergmann’s rule) predates even Darwin’s evolutionary theory. While research has long concentrated on identifying general evolutionary explanations for this phenomenon, recent work suggests that different factors operating on local evolutionary timescales may be the cause of this widespread trend. Bergmann’s rule explains body size variation in a diversity of warm-blooded organisms and there is increasing evidence that Bergmann’s rule is also widespread in ectotherms. Bergmann’s rule acts differentially in species of the Syngnathidae, a family of teleost fishes noted for extreme adaptations for male parental care. While variation in body size of polygamous Syngnathus pipefish is consistent with Bergmann’s rule, body size is uncorrelated with latitude in monogamous Hippocampus seahorses. A study of populations of Syngnathus leptorhynchus along a natural latitudinal and thermal gradient indicates that increases in body size with latitude maintain the potential reproductive rate of males despite significant decreases in ambient temperatures. Polygyny is necessary in order to maximize male reproductive success in S. leptorhynchus, suggesting a possible a link between fecundity selection and Bergmann’s rule in this species.

Abstract

The study of latitudinal increases in organismal body size (Bergmann’s rule) predates even Darwin’s evolutionary theory. While research has long concentrated on identifying general evolutionary explanations for this phenomenon, recent work suggests that different factors operating on local evolutionary timescales may be the cause of this widespread trend. Bergmann’s rule explains body size variation in a diversity of warm-blooded organisms and there is increasing evidence that Bergmann’s rule is also widespread in ectotherms. Bergmann’s rule acts differentially in species of the Syngnathidae, a family of teleost fishes noted for extreme adaptations for male parental care. While variation in body size of polygamous Syngnathus pipefish is consistent with Bergmann’s rule, body size is uncorrelated with latitude in monogamous Hippocampus seahorses. A study of populations of Syngnathus leptorhynchus along a natural latitudinal and thermal gradient indicates that increases in body size with latitude maintain the potential reproductive rate of males despite significant decreases in ambient temperatures. Polygyny is necessary in order to maximize male reproductive success in S. leptorhynchus, suggesting a possible a link between fecundity selection and Bergmann’s rule in this species.

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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)
Date:March 2009
Deposited On:16 Dec 2009 16:37
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:35
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0962-1083
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04084.x

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