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Differential fitness effects of immunocompetence and neighbourhood density in alternative female lizard morphs

Authors

  • Ryan Calsbeek,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA;
      *Correspondence author. E-mail: ryan.calsbeek@dartmouth.edu
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  • Camille Bonneaud,

    1. Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment, and
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    • Present address: Camille Bonneaud, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

  • Thomas B. Smith

    1. Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment, and
    2. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
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*Correspondence author. E-mail: ryan.calsbeek@dartmouth.edu

Summary

  • 1A growing number of studies demonstrate that natural selection acts on traits important in whole animal performance and physiology.
  • 2Here we describe a heritable polymorphism in female dorsal pattern in the lizard Anolis sagrei (Dumeril & Bibron 1837).
  • 3Morphs did not differ in body size or habitat use (perch diameter), however, we show that the social environment, estimated by the number of female neighbours, had different selective effects on alternative morphs in nature.
  • 4We show that morphs displayed a significantly different immune response to phytohaemagglutinin. Furthermore, natural selection differentially acted on combinations of female morph and immunocompetence, favouring high levels of immune function in one morph and low levels of immune function in the other.
  • 5We discuss the possibility that morph-specific investments in life-history traits may lead to correlational selection between traits, even when those traits are likely to be determined by different genetic loci.

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