Multivariate phenotypes and the potential for alternative phenotypic optima in wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) ventral colour morphs

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T1 - Multivariate phenotypes and the potential for alternative phenotypic optima in wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) ventral colour morphs

AU - Calsbeek, B.

AU - Hasselquist, Dennis

AU - Clobert, J.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - A major goal in evolutionary biology is to determine how phenotypic variation arises and is maintained in natural populations. Recent studies examining the morphological, physiological and behavioural differences among discrete colour morphotypes (morphs) have revealed several mechanisms that maintain discrete variation within populations, including frequency-dependence, density-dependence and correlational selection. For example, trade-offs over resource allocation to morphological, physiological and behavioural traits can drive correlational selection for morph-specific phenotypic optima. Here, we describe a ventral colour polymorphism in the wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) and test the hypothesis that morphs differ along multivariate axes defined by trade-offs in morphological, physiological, and immunological traits. We show that ventral colour is a discrete trait and that morphs differ in body size, prevalence of infection by parasites and infection intensity. We also find that morphs differ along multivariate phenotypic axes and experience different multivariate selection pressures. Our results suggest that multivariate selection pressures may favour alternative optimal morph-specific phenotypes in P. muralis.

AB - A major goal in evolutionary biology is to determine how phenotypic variation arises and is maintained in natural populations. Recent studies examining the morphological, physiological and behavioural differences among discrete colour morphotypes (morphs) have revealed several mechanisms that maintain discrete variation within populations, including frequency-dependence, density-dependence and correlational selection. For example, trade-offs over resource allocation to morphological, physiological and behavioural traits can drive correlational selection for morph-specific phenotypic optima. Here, we describe a ventral colour polymorphism in the wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) and test the hypothesis that morphs differ along multivariate axes defined by trade-offs in morphological, physiological, and immunological traits. We show that ventral colour is a discrete trait and that morphs differ in body size, prevalence of infection by parasites and infection intensity. We also find that morphs differ along multivariate phenotypic axes and experience different multivariate selection pressures. Our results suggest that multivariate selection pressures may favour alternative optimal morph-specific phenotypes in P. muralis.

KW - polymorphism

KW - colour signals

KW - fitness optima

KW - alternative strategies

KW - selection

U2 - 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.01978.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.01978.x

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 1138

EP - 1147

JO - Journal of evolutionary biology

T2 - Journal of evolutionary biology

JF - Journal of evolutionary biology

SN - 1420-9101

IS - 6

ER -