Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

No evidence that warmer temperatures are associated with selection for smaller body sizes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Author(s)

Adam M. Siepielski, Michael B. Morrissey, Stephanie M. Carlson, Clinton D. Francis, Joel G. Kingsolver, Kenneth D. Whitney, Loeske E. B. Kruuk

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Reductions in animal body size over recent decades are often interpreted as an adaptive evolutionary response to climate warming. However, for reductions in size to reflect adaptive evolution, directional selection on body size within populations must have become negative, or where already negative, to have become more so, as temperatures increased. To test this hypothesis, we performed traditional and phylogenetic meta-analyses of the association between annual estimates of directional selection on body size from wild populations and annual mean temperatures from 39 longitudinal studies. We found no evidence that warmer environments were associated with selection for smaller size. Instead, selection consistently favoured larger individuals, and was invariant to temperature. These patterns were similar in ectotherms and endotherms. An analysis using year rather than temperature revealed similar patterns, suggesting no evidence that selection has changed over time, and also indicating that the lack of association with annual temperature was not an artefact of choosing an erroneous time window for aggregating the temperature data. Although phenotypic trends in size will be driven by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, our results suggest little evidence for a necessary ingredient—negative directional selection—for declines in body size to be considered an adaptive evolutionary response to changing selection pressures.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number20191332
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume286
Issue number1907
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2019

    Research areas

  • Adaptation, Bergmann's rule, Body size, Climate change, Natural selection, Temperature

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Natural selection for body shape in resource polymorphic Icelandic Arctic charr

    Franklin, O. D., Skúlason, S., Morrissey, M. B. & Ferguson, M. M., 16 Aug 2018, In : Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Early View, 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Quantification and decomposition of environment-selection relationships

    Hunter, D. C., Pemberton, J., Pilkington, J. & Morrissey, M. B., Apr 2018, In : Evolution. 72, 4, p. 851-866

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Fixed-effect variance and the estimation of repeatabilities and heritabilities: issues and solutions

    de Villemereuil, P., Morrissey, M. B., Nakagawa, S. & Schielzeth, H., Apr 2018, In : Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 31, 4, p. 621-632

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Individual variation in reproductive behaviour is linked to temporal heterogeneity in predation risk

    Barbosa, M., Deacon, A. E., Janeiro Silva, M. J., Ramnarine, I., Morrissey, M. B. & Magurran, A. E., 10 Jan 2018, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 285, 1870, 9 p., 20171499.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Kate Arnold (Reviewer)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Michael Gordon Ritchie (Editor)
    20102011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Member of editorial board)
    2009 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Iain McCombe Matthews (Editor)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Advances in research on the impacts of anti-submarine sonar on beaked whales

    Bernaldo De Quirós, Y., Fernandez, A., Baird, R. W., Brownell, R. L., Aguilar De Soto, N., Allen, D., Arbelo, M., Arregui, M., Costidis, A., Fahlman, A., Frantzis, A., Gulland, F. M. D., Iñíguez, M., Johnson, M., Komnenou, A., Koopman, H., Pabst, D. A., Roe, W. D., Sierra, E., Tejedor, M. & 1 othersSchorr, G., 30 Jan 2019, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286, 1895, 20182533.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Linguistic laws in chimpanzee gestural communication

    Heesen, R., Hobaiter, C., Ferrer-i-Cancho, R. & Semple, S., 13 Feb 2019, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286, 1896

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Northern bottlenose whales in a pristine environment respond strongly to close and distant navy sonar signals

    Wensveen, P. J., Isojunno, S., Hansen, R. R., Von Benda-beckmann, A. M., Kleivane, L., Van Ijsselmuide, S., Lam, F. A., Kvadsheim, P. H., Deruiter, S. L., Curé, C., Narazaki, T., Tyack, P. L. & Miller, P. J. O., 20 Mar 2019, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286, 1899, 10 p., 20182592.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 260534730