Data from: Performance in three shell functions predicts the phenotypic distribution of hard-shelled turtles
Stayton, Charles Tristan (2019), Data from: Performance in three shell functions predicts the phenotypic distribution of hard-shelled turtles, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.10nf934
Adaptive landscapes have served as fruitful guides to evolutionary research for nearly a century. Current methods guided by landscape frameworks mostly utilize evolutionary modelling (for example, fitting data to Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models) to make inferences about adaptive peaks. Recent alternative methods utilize known relationships between phenotypes and functional performance to derive information about adaptive landscapes; this information can then help explain the distribution of species in phenotypic space and help infer the relative importance of various functions for guiding diversification. Here, data on performance for three turtle shell functions – strength, hydrodynamic efficiency, and self-righting ability – are used to develop a set of predicted performance optima in shell shape space. The distribution of performance optima shows significant similarity to the distribution of existing turtle species and helps explain the absence of shells in otherwise anomalously-empty regions of morphospace. The method outperforms modelling-based approaches in inferring the location of reasonable adaptive peaks and in explaining the shape of the phenotypic distributions of turtle shells. Performance surface-based methods allow researchers to more directly connect functional performance with macroevolutionary diversification, and to explain the distribution of species (including presences and absences) across phenotypic space.
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1257142