Data from: Competition drives trait evolution and character displacement between Mimulus species along an environmental gradient
Kooyers, Nicholas J.; James, Brooke; Blackman, Benjamin K. (2017), Data from: Competition drives trait evolution and character displacement between Mimulus species along an environmental gradient, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.176f9
Closely related species may evolve to coexist stably in sympatry through niche differentiation driven by in situ competition, a process termed character displacement. Alternatively, past evolution in allopatry may have already sufficiently reduced niche overlap to permit establishment in sympatry, a process called ecological sorting. The relative importance of each process to niche differentiation is contentious even though they are not mutually exclusive and are both mediated via multivariate trait evolution. We explore how competition has impacted niche differentiation in two monkeyflowers, Mimulus alsinoides and M. guttatus, which often co-occur. Through field observations, common gardens, and competition experiments, we demonstrate that M. alsinoides is restricted to marginal habitats in sympatry and that the impacts of character displacement on niche differentiation are complex. Competition with M. guttatus alters selection gradients and has favored taller M. alsinoides with earlier seasonal flowering at low elevation and floral shape divergence at high elevation. However, no trait exhibits the pattern typically associated with character displacement, higher divergence between species in sympatry than allopatry. Thus, although character displacement was unlikely the process driving initial divergence along niche axes necessary for coexistence, we conclude that competition in sympatry has likely driven trait evolution along additional niche axes.
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1558035