Sex differences in phenotypic plasticity affect variation in sexual size dimorphism in insects: From physiology to evolution

R. Craig Stillwell, Wolf U. Blanckenhorn, Tiit Teder, Goggy Davidowitz, Charles W. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

200 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Males and females of nearly all animals differ in their body size, a phenomenon called sexual size dimorphism (SSD). The degree and direction of SSD vary considerably among taxa, including among populations within species. A considerable amount of this variation is due to sex differences in body size plasticity. We examine how variation in these sex differences is generated by exploring sex differences in plasticity in growth rate and development time and the physiological regulation of these differences (e.g., sex differences in regulation by the endocrine system). We explore adaptive hypotheses proposed to explain sex differences in plasticity, including those that predict that plasticity will be lowest for traits under strong selection (adaptive canalization) or greatest for traits under strong directional selection (condition dependence), but few studies have tested these hypotheses. Studies that combine proximate and ultimate mechanisms offer great promise for understanding variation in SSD and sex differences in body size plasticity in insects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-245
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

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dimorphism
phenotypic plasticity
gender differences
physiology
plasticity
insect
insects
body size
endocrine system
physiological regulation
animal
animals
regulation

Keywords

  • Body size
  • Development
  • Rensch's rule
  • Sexual dimorphism
  • Sexual selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Sex differences in phenotypic plasticity affect variation in sexual size dimorphism in insects : From physiology to evolution. / Stillwell, R. Craig; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U.; Teder, Tiit; Davidowitz, Goggy; Fox, Charles W.

In: Annual Review of Entomology, Vol. 55, 01.01.2010, p. 227-245.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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