Relationships among ontogenetic, static, and evolutionary allometry

J M Cheverud
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 1982, 59 (2): 139-49
The relationship between ontogenetic, static, and evolutionary levels of allometry is investigated. Extrapolation from relative size relationships in adults to relative growth in ontogeny depends on the variability of slopes and intercepts of ontogenetic vectors relative to variability in length of the vector. If variability in slopes and intercepts is low relative to variability in length, ontogenetic and static allometries will be similar. The similarity of ontogenetic and static allometries was tested by comparing the first principal component, or size vector, for correlations among 48 cranial traits in a cross-sectional ontogenetic sample of rhesus macaques from Cayo Santiago with a static sample from which all age- and sex-related variation had been removed. The vector correlation between the components is high but significantly less than one while two of three allometric patterns apparent in the ontogenetic component are not discernable in the static component. This indicates that there are important differences in size and shape relationships among adults and within ontogenies. Extrapolation from intra-or interspecific phenotypic allometry to evolutionary allometry is shown to depend on the similarity of genetic and phenotypic allometry patterns. Similarity of patterns was tested by comparing the first principal components of the phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlation matrices calculated using standard quantitative genetic methods. The patterns of phenotypic, genetic, and environmental allometry are dissimilar; only the environmental allometries show ontogenetic allometric patterns. This indicates that phenotypic allometry may not be an accurate guide to patterns of evolutionary change in size and shape.

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