Environmental gradients in a marine setting may have significant effects on morphological variations and evolutionary patterns, including sexual dimorphism variations within and between fish populations. We analyzed sexual shape and size dimorphism in accordance with Rensch and Bergmann’s rules in five coastal populations of the gobiid Bathygobius soporator along 4000 km of the Brazilian coastline. The populations differ significantly in sexual body shape dimorphism, with a tendency toward reduced intrapopulation dimorphism, increasing with latitude. Body size variation was significant between populations and population vs. sex, and inverse to Bergmann’s rule. Moreover, size dimorphism among populations of B. soporator does not follow Rensch’s rule. These data represent a rare example of inter and intrapopulation spatial variation in sexual dimorphism associated with latitude in marine fish. This suggests a complex and particularized scenario of biotic and abiotic interactions acting on local populations of B. soporator in extensive coastal areas of the Western Atlantic, with profound implications for species evolution.
Evolutionary Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 23, 2017
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