Sex ratios and bimaturism differ between temperature-dependent and genetic sex-determination systems in reptiles

V. Bókony, Gregory Milne, Ivett Pipoly, Tamás Székely, A. Likér

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background: Sex-determining systems may profoundly influence the ecology, behaviour and demography of animals, yet these relationships are poorly understood. Here we investigate whether species with temperature-dependent (TSD) and genetic sex determination (GSD) differ in key demographic traits, using data from 181 species representing all major phylogenetic lineages of extant reptiles. Results: We show that species with TSD exhibit significantly higher within-species variance in sex ratios than GSD species in three major life stages: birth or hatching, juvenility and adulthood. In contrast, sex differences in adult mortality rates do not differ between GSD and TSD species. However, TSD species exhibit significantly greater sex differences in maturation ages than GSD species. Conclusion: These results support the recent theoretical model that evolution of TSD is facilitated by sex-specific fitness benefits of developmental temperatures due to bimaturism. Our findings suggest that different sex-determination systems are associated with different demographic characteristics that may influence population viability and social evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 18 2019

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sex determination
reptile
sex ratio
reptiles
gender
temperature
gender differences
juvenility
sociodemographic characteristics
adulthood
demography
demographic statistics
hatching
maturation
viability
fitness
ecology
phylogenetics
mortality
phylogeny

Keywords

  • Age of sexual maturity
  • Environmental sex determination
  • Non-avian sauropsids
  • Sex chromosomes
  • Sex ratio
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Sex ratios and bimaturism differ between temperature-dependent and genetic sex-determination systems in reptiles. / Bókony, V.; Milne, Gregory; Pipoly, Ivett; Székely, Tamás; Likér, A.

In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 19, No. 1, 57, 18.02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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AU - Bókony, V.

AU - Milne, Gregory

AU - Pipoly, Ivett

AU - Székely, Tamás

AU - Likér, A.

PY - 2019/2/18

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N2 - Background: Sex-determining systems may profoundly influence the ecology, behaviour and demography of animals, yet these relationships are poorly understood. Here we investigate whether species with temperature-dependent (TSD) and genetic sex determination (GSD) differ in key demographic traits, using data from 181 species representing all major phylogenetic lineages of extant reptiles. Results: We show that species with TSD exhibit significantly higher within-species variance in sex ratios than GSD species in three major life stages: birth or hatching, juvenility and adulthood. In contrast, sex differences in adult mortality rates do not differ between GSD and TSD species. However, TSD species exhibit significantly greater sex differences in maturation ages than GSD species. Conclusion: These results support the recent theoretical model that evolution of TSD is facilitated by sex-specific fitness benefits of developmental temperatures due to bimaturism. Our findings suggest that different sex-determination systems are associated with different demographic characteristics that may influence population viability and social evolution.

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