Data from: Remarkable life history polymorphism may be evolving under divergent selection in the silverleaf sunflower
Moyers, Brook T.; Rieseberg, Loren H. (2016), Data from: Remarkable life history polymorphism may be evolving under divergent selection in the silverleaf sunflower, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3c769
Substantial intraspecific variation in life history is rare and potentially a signal of incipient ecological speciation, if variation is driven by geographically heterogenous natural selection. We present the first report of extensive life history polymorphism in Helianthus argophyllus, the silverleaf sunflower, and examine evidence for its evolution by divergent selection. In 18 populations sampled from across the species range and grown in a common garden, most quantitative traits covaried such that individuals could be assigned to two distinct life history syndromes: tall and late flowering with small initial flowerheads, or short and early flowering with larger initial flowerheads. Helianthus argophyllus exhibits regional genetic structure, but this population structure does not closely correspond with patterns of phenotypic variation. The early-flowering syndrome is primarily observed in populations from coastal barrier islands, while populations from the nearby mainland coast, although geographically and genetically close, are primarily late flowering. Additionally, several traits are more differentiated among regions than expected based on neutral genetic divergence (QST > FST), including the first principal component score corresponding with life history syndrome. This discordance between patterns of phenotypic and genetic variation suggests that divergent selection is driving genetic differences in life history across the species range. If so, the silverleaf sunflower may be in early stages of ecological speciation.