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Examining Hypotheses Generated by Field Measures of Sexual Selection on Male Lizards, Uta palmeri
Diana K. Hews
Vol. 44, No. 8 (Dec., 1990), pp. 1956-1966
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409606
Page Count: 11
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Phenotypic traits, Mating behavior, Female animals, Sexual selection, Lizards, Jaw, Evolution, Bird nesting, Multiple regression, Animal morphology
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I examined sexual selection in the iguanid lizard Uta palmeri by measuring phenotypic selection in a cohort of males. Relative fitness was estimated by copulation rate from one breeding season, and I analyzed selection on five morphological traits (snout-vent length, mass, jaw length, head width, and head depth) and on male territory quality. Only territory quality and head depth were identified as direct targets of selection in a linear selection gradient analysis. Head depth was suggested to also be subject to quadratic selection. All traits exhibited significant directional selection differentials, suggesting indirect selection also was present because of the correlation of these traits with direct targets of selection. I used these results to generate hypotheses about the mechanisms of selection. For traits not identified as direct targets of selection (snout-vent length, mass, head width, jaw length), I could accept the null hypothesis of no female preference for the analyzed male traits; if these morphological traits were preferred by females in mate choice, they would have been identified as direct targets of selection. Exploring possible functional relationships within the cohort, I found that all five morphological traits contributed to explaining variation in territorial status. And in staged aggressive interactions between males that were similar in snout-vent length and mass, winning was associated only with greater head depth and not with head width or jaw length. Several possible interpretations of these results are presented. This study suggests that differential mating success arising from variation in territory quality gives rise to indirect selection on morphology. The possible mechanisms giving rise to the proposed direct selection on head depth require further study.
Evolution © 1990 Society for the Study of Evolution