Biogeography of body size in terrestrial isopods (Crustacea: Oniscidea)

Maria Karagkouni, Spyros Sfenthourakis, Anat Feldman, Shai Meiri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study tries to unveil the contribution of climatic shift in shaping the extreme body size diversity in terrestrial isopods (Oniscidea). Trying to explain size variation at an interspecific level, we test five hypotheses: (1) Bergmann's Rule and the temperature-size rule postulate large size in cold areas; (2) The metabolic cold adaptation theory postulates small animal sizes in cold environments; (3) The primary productivity hypothesis predicts size increase in resource-rich areas; (4) The aridity resistance hypothesis predicts large size in arid regions; and (5). The acidosis hypothesis predicts smaller size with decreasing soil pH. Globally, Bergmann's rule and the aridity hypothesis are weakly supported. Among families and genera, results are variable and idiosyncratic. Conglobating species sizes provide weak support for the acidosis hypothesis. Overall, size is strongly affected by familial affiliation. Isopod size evolution seems to be mainly affected by phylogenetically constrained life-history traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Acidosis
  • Bergmann's rule
  • aridity resistance hypothesis
  • body size
  • geographic variation
  • terrestrial isopods


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