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In: Spotlight on China
In: Spotlight on China
Proceedings of the 22nd Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association
Volume Editors: and
The 2019 congress of the International Comparative Literature Association attracted many hundreds of scholars from all around the world to Macau. This volume contains a modest selection of papers to discuss the four hottest fields of the discipline: the future of comparison, the position of national and diaspora literature in the context of globalization, the importance of translation, and the concepts of world literature. The contributions cover huge geographical and cultural areas, but pay special attention to the connections between Western (both American and European) and Asian (especially Indian and East-Asian) literatures. The literatures of the world might be different but they are also connected.

Abstract

The evolution of sexual dimorphism has long fascinated evolutionary biologists and theory suggests that variation in sexual dimorphism is a consequence of selective forces acting differently on morphological traits in males versus females. Here, we analyzed sexual differences in size and shape of the Boulenger’s lazy toad, Scutiger boulengeri, based on the intersex variation pattern of sixteen morphometric traits including body size. The results suggested that sexual dimorphism was apparent in body size and some body shapes (e.g., head length and width, internasal space, interorbital space, diameter of lower arm and tibia width) of this toad. The bigger body size in females may be relevant to fecundity selection, a larger head in males as well as a broader internasal and interorbital space may be subject to male-male competition in combination with ecological selection, and both robust forelimbs and hindlimbs in males may be related to mating and competitive behaviors. These results are discussed with respect to the above selection procedures and possible sex differences in life history traits.

In: Animal Biology

Abstract

Age determination is crucial for a full understanding of population dynamics. In this context, we studied the age structure of the paddy frog, Fejervarya multistriata, in a population from the central east of China, using a skeletochronological method. The lines of arrested growth in the phalanges were distinct, and each line was assumed to represent one year of age. Ages ranged between one and four years for adult males and two and four years for adult females. No significant difference was observed in the mean adult age between the sexes. In addition, a significant relationship between age and body size within each sex was detected. Results of ANCOVA analysis suggested a significant difference in body size between sexes when the effect of age was removed. The von-Bertalanffy model showed that females had a larger asymptotic body size than males, and the growth rate of females was higher than that of males. Therefore, the growth rate is a major factor underlying body size patterns in both sexes of F. multistriata in the study population.

In: Animal Biology

Sexual dimorphism in limb muscles is widespread among anurans, with males having stronger limbs than females. This phenomenon has been interpreted in the context of intrasexual selection: 1) the robust forelimb muscles in males are associated with amplexus, in which the male tries to grasp the female tightly, and also with rejection of rivals’ attempts at taking over, and 2) massive hindlimb muscles favor the ability to kick away rivals during scramble competition. However, in a few species, fertilization occurs without any form of amplexus and in these species the limb muscle dimorphism is expected to be absent. We tested this prediction in Feirana taihangnicus: a species without amplexus. As expected, we detected non-significant sexual differences in the mass of both forelimb and hindlimb muscles after accounting for body size and age. Our findings represent an interesting example of coevolution of form and function.

In: Animal Biology

Quantification of the pattern and spatial distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) is essential to comprehending many eco-hydrological processes. To obtain a better understanding of the spatial variability of SOC in a typical farming-pastoral zone, 270 soil samples were collected at 45 sampling sites from every 20 cm soil layer. Semi-variance function theory and ordinary Kriging interpolation were applied to identify the spatial variability of SOC. The results showed that SOC in the area was relatively low and decreased with depth and from the basin edge to the centre with a measured mean content of 0.07–0.65 g/kg. The strongest variability in the zone in the top soil layer (0–40 cm) was in the centre part of the zone, which was supposed to be the most concentrated area of human activities in the zone. As soil depth increase, the degree of variation of SOC decreased. Gaussian, exponential, and spherical models were suggested to successfully simulate SOC in different soil depth zones. The spatial distribution of SOC showed strong variability in the same soil depth zone, with a nugget to sill ratio of less than 14% and a range of 30–160 km.

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution

Abstract

Life-history theory predicts that organisms inhabiting harsh environments such as high altitudes should invest less in reproduction and more in survival. Testis size is associated with the intensity of male-male competition for mating and thus may be treated as an indicator of male reproductive investment. Hence, it may be expected that organisms will reduce their testis size with increasingly harsh environments. Here we test this prediction in a toad species, Scutiger boulengeri, endemic to the Tibetan plateau using data from three populations located at altitudes of 4078, 4276, and 4387 m. Consistent with the prediction, male toads exhibited smaller testes at higher altitudes, despite the relatively narrow altitudinal span. It is likely that cold climates and strong seasonality constrain the ability of high-altitude male toads to allocate more energy into reproduction, thereby leading to small testis size. In addition, the left testis was significantly heavier than the right one and the degree of size asymmetry was unrelated to either altitude or body condition.

In: Animal Biology