Publications by authors named "E Roccotelli"

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Developmental instability and phenotypic evolution in a small and isolated bear population.

Biol Lett 2021 04 21;17(4):20200729. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems, National Research Council, 00015 Montelibretti, Rome, Italy.

We explored fluctuating asymmetry (FA) and morphological integration (MI) in the skull of the small, highly inbred and divergent Apennine bear (), to explore its uniqueness and investigate any potential effects of inbreeding depression. We used 3D geometric morphometrics contrasting Apennine bears with other two large outbred bear populations from Scandinavia and Kamchatka as controls. Shape divergence and variability were explored by a principal component analysis on aligned coordinates of 39 landmarks. Procrustes ANOVA, morphological disparity and the global integration index were used to explore FA, shape variance and MI. By remarking Apennine bears as a highly divergent phenotype, we recorded the highest FA and deviation from self-similarity compared with the other two control populations. We conclude that Apennine bears are likely facing developmental instability as a consequence of inbreeding depression, whereas the divergent trait covariance pattern may represent a potential source of evolutionary novelties. We discuss the implications for the conservation and management of this imperiled taxon.
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April 2021