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Data from: Local adaptation despite high gene flow in the waterfall-climbing Hawaiian goby, Sicyopterus stimpsoni.

Cite this dataset

Moody, Kristine N. et al. (2014). Data from: Local adaptation despite high gene flow in the waterfall-climbing Hawaiian goby, Sicyopterus stimpsoni. [Dataset]. Dryad.


Environmental heterogeneity can promote the emergence of locally adapted phenotypes among subpopulations of a species, whereas gene flow can result in phenotypic and genotypic homogenization. For organisms like amphidromous fishes that change habitats during their life history, the balance between selection and migration can shift through ontogeny, making the likelihood of local adaptation difficult to predict. In Hawaiian waterfall-climbing gobies, it has been hypothesized that larval mixing during oceanic dispersal counters local adaptation to contrasting topographic features of streams, like slope gradient, that can select for predator avoidance or climbing ability in juvenile recruits. To test this hypothesis, we used morphological traits and neutral genetic markers to compare phenotypic and genotypic distributions in recruiting juveniles and adult subpopulations of the waterfall-climbing amphidromous goby, Sicyopterus stimpsoni, from the islands of Hawai'i and Kaua'i. We found that body shape is significantly different between adult subpopulations from streams with contrasting slopes and that trait divergence in recruiting juveniles tracked stream topography more so than morphological measures of adult subpopulation differentiation. Although no evidence of population genetic differentiation was observed among adult subpopulations, we observed low but significant levels of spatially and temporally variable genetic differentiation among juvenile cohorts, which correlated with morphological divergence. Such a pattern of genetic differentiation is consistent with chaotic genetic patchiness arising from variable sources of recruits to different streams. Thus, at least in S. stimpsoni, the combination of variation in settlement cohorts in space and time coupled with strong postsettlement selection on juveniles as they migrate upstream to adult habitats provides the opportunity for morphological adaptation to local stream environments despite high gene flow.

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