Sexual selection predicts species richness across the animal kingdom
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Our improving knowledge of the animal tree of life consistently demonstrates that some taxa diversify more rapidly than others, but what contributes to this variation remains poorly understood. An influential hypothesis proposes that selection arising from competition for mating partners plays a key role in promoting speciation. However, empirical evidence showing a link between proxies of this sexual selection and species richness is equivocal. Here, we collected standardized metrics of sexual selection for a broad range of animal taxa, and found that taxonomic families characterized by stronger sexual selection on males show relatively higher species richness. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that sexual selection elevates species richness. This could occur either by promoting speciation and/or by protecting species against extinction.
Janicke , T , Ritchie , M G , Morrow , E H & Marie-Orleach , L 2018 , ' Sexual selection predicts species richness across the animal kingdom ' , Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , vol. 285 , no. 1878 , 20180173 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.0173
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Copyright © 2018, the Author(s). This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.0173
DescriptionFunding: Swiss National Science Foundation to T. J. (PA00P3-145375/1) and to L.M.-O. (P2BSP3_158842 and P300PA_171516).
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