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Data from: Ecological character displacement between the sexes

Cite this dataset

De Lisle, Stephen Paul; Rowe, Locke (2015). Data from: Ecological character displacement between the sexes [Dataset]. Dryad.


Theory suggests the evolution of sexual dimorphism in ecologically relevant traits can evolve purely through competition between the sexes for a shared resource. Although more parsimonious hypotheses exist for the evolution of ecological sexual dimorphisms, there are some underappreciated reasons to expect that competition may often play some role in the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Here, we build on past work to outline a set of sufficient criteria to demonstrate a role for resource competition in the evolution of sexual dimorphism, the most critical of which is that resource competition can be directly linked to sexual divergence along the axis of ecologically-relevant dimorphism. We then compare the geometry of fitness surfaces across experimental manipulations of density and sex ratio in a semiaquatic salamander (Notophthalmus viridescens). We find consistent disruptive selection on multivariate sexual dimorphism in feeding morphology, which increases in strength with density. Fitness and the strength of divergent selection are negative-frequency dependent in the manner expected under competition-driven divergence between the sexes. Our results constitute direct evidence of resource competition as a driver of sexually-antagonist selection and consequently the evolution of sexual dimorphism, showing how cause and effect can be separated in studies of ecological sexual dimorphism. We suggest resource competition may contribute to sexual divergence jointly with other sources of sex-biased selection, especially when ecological opportunity is sex-specific. EndDryadContent

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