Sexual dimorphism in Odonata: Age, size, and sex ratio at emergence

Philip H. Crowley, Frank Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Males and females of many organisms differ in important life-history and behavioral characters. Following a recent optimization analysis of sexually dimorphic life histories, we employed an odonate-like parameter set to identify patterns of life history and behavior to be expected in an odonate population. The default parameter magnitudes generated a smaller body size and shorter development time for males than for females, which resulted in a male-biased sex ratio. Whether population growth was density dependent or density independent, and whether development time was fixed or flexible had major impacts on life-history features. The model generated five general predictions for odonate systems. (1) For species with fixed development times, males and females should differ more in activity level, growth and mortality rates than for species with flexible life cycles. (2) In species with fixed development times, populations at high latitude or high altitude should be more active, emerge and reproduce at smaller size and have a more male-biased sex ratio than low latitude and low altitude populations. (3) In density-dependent populations, with density dependence mediated by activity-dependent mortality, higher predation rates should increase activity levels and reduce development time in species with flexible development times. (4) For species with flexible development times, in strongly density-dependent populations with density dependence mediated by mortality, activity levels should decrease and development times should increase at high prey abundance. (5) Males should be larger at emergence relative to females, and the sex ratio at emergence should be more female-biased in territorial than in non-territorial species. Existing empirical evidence concerning these predictions is generally sparse and equivocal; focused tests are clearly needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-378
Number of pages15
JournalOikos
Volume96
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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