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ALTERNATIVE MATING STRATEGIES AND THE EVOLUTION OF SEXUAL SIZE DIMORPHISM IN THE SIDE-BLOTCHED LIZARD, UTA STANSBURIANA: A POPULATION-LEVEL COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

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Abstract

Population-level comparative analyses can link microevolutionary processes within populations to macroevolutionary patterns of diversification. We used the comparative method to study the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) among populations of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana). Uta stansburiana is polymorphic for different male mating and female life-history strategies in some populations, but monomorphic in others. We tested whether intrasexual selection among males, fecundity selection on females, and the presence of polymorphic strategies affected levels of SSD. We first resolved a phylogeny for 41 populations across the range of the species and documented a substantial regional structure. Our intraspecific data had significant phylogenetic signal, and correcting for phylogeny using independent contrasts had large effects on our results. Polymorphic populations had male-biased SSD and changes in male body size, levels of tail breaks, and SSD consistent with the intrasexual selection hypothesis. Monomorphic populations had changes in female size, clutch size, and SSD consistent with the fecundity selection hypothesis. Fecundity selection is a likely cause of some monomorphic populations having no SSD or female-biased SSD. Our results suggest that changes in mating strategies are associated with phenotypic diversification and multiple evolutionary forces can shape SSD.

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