Sexual selection is one of the most well studied evolutionary processes. However, the lack of a theoretical framework for studies of sexual selection in a large geographic scale restricts our understanding of how the intensity of this process can vary geographically. The recently created macro-ecology of sexual selection aims to fulfill this gap, making predictions about the direct and indirect influence of environmental conditions (biotic and abiotic) on sexually selected traits over a large geographic scale. In this sense, the main objective of this project is to test macro-ecological hypotheses using Neotropical dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) as a study system. Specifically, we will test the influence of climatic variables on: (1) the occurrence of alternative morphs, (2) the magnitude of sexual dimorphism, (3) the magnitude of sexual dichromatism, and (4) the degree of sperm competition. To test the macro-ecological hypotheses related to each of these sexually selected characteristics, we will use data available in the literature, in taxonomic collections and in electronic databases. These data will be combined and used in phylogenetic comparative analyses. The results obtained in this research will not only be the first empirical tests of the hypothesis of macro-ecology of sexual selection, but may also be used in a more applied manner to inform predictions about the effect of climatic changes on the composition of dragonfly and damselfly species in local communities.
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