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Data from: Postnatal dynamics of developmental stability and canalization of lizard head shape under different environmental conditions

Citation

Lazić, Marko M.; Carretero, Miguel A.; Crnobrnja-Isailović, Jelka; Kaliontzopoulou, Antigoni (2016), Data from: Postnatal dynamics of developmental stability and canalization of lizard head shape under different environmental conditions, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vs970

Abstract

Developmental stability (DS) and canalization are key determinants of phenotypic variation. To provide a better understanding of how postnatal growth is involved in determining the effects of DS and canalization on phenotypic variation, we studied within- and among-individual variation in head shape in ontogenetic series of lizards inhabiting urban and rural environments. Urban lizards exhibited increased fluctuating asymmetry during the early postnatal stages, but asymmetry levels decreased during growth. By contrast, asymmetry remained constant across the investigated size range in the rural population. In addition, urban juveniles were more variable for symmetric shape and deviated more from the group shape-size allometric trajectory, but both indices declined across ontogeny. Congruent patterns of within- and among-individual variation suggest that both DS and canalization may rely on similar underlying mechanisms. Further, the ontogenetic reduction of variation in the urban population suggests that compensatory growth may aid in buffering phenotypic variation and correcting deviances from the established developmental path. Alternatively, passive mechanisms and population dynamics may also explain the decrease of phenodeviants in urban populations. Significant correlations between symmetric and asymmetric shape, as well as similar integration patterns between the two populations, suggest that similar developmental mechanisms regulate head shape in both environments. Overall, these results highlight the relevance of both pre- and post-natal dynamics in determining levels of phenotypic variation, enhancing our understanding of how organisms respond to perturbations to DS and canalization under stressful conditions.

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