Document Detail

Body-size evolution on islands: are adult size variations in tiger snakes a nonadaptive consequence of selection on birth size?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22617263     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract Mean adult size has been used as the traditional measure of body size to explain trends of insular gigantism and dwarfism in a wide array of taxa. However, patterns of variation in body size at birth have received surprisingly little attention, leaving open the possibility that adult body-size differences are nonadaptive consequences of selection acting on neonate body size. Here I used an empirical and correlative approach to test this hypothesis in a mosaic of 12 island and mainland snake populations in Australia. Data collected on 597 adult and 1,084 neonate tiger snakes showed that (1) both adult and neonate mean body sizes varied strongly across populations; (2) prey diversity and size convincingly explained birth-size variations: birth size-notably, gape size-correlated with prey size; (3) neonate snout-vent length was significantly correlated with neonate gape size; and (4) neonate snout-vent length was significantly correlated with adult snout-vent length. Postnatal growth rates recorded under common-garden conditions differed across populations and were correlated with mean prey size. These data collectively suggest that (1) prey size is the main driver for the evolution of body size at birth in gape-limited predators, (2) adult size variations may reflect selective forces acting on earlier life stages, and (3) adult size variations may also reflect resource availability during ontogeny (notably, prey diversity).
Fabien Aubret
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-04-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American naturalist     Volume:  179     ISSN:  1537-5323     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. Nat.     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-05-23     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2984688R     Medline TA:  Am Nat     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  756-67     Citation Subset:  IM    
Station d'Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à Moulis Unité de Service et Recherche 2936, Moulis, 09200 Saint-Girons, France; and School of Biological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.
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