Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Variable and sexually conflicting selection on Silene stellata floral traits by a putative moth pollinator selective agent

Citation

Zhou, Juannan et al. (2020), Variable and sexually conflicting selection on Silene stellata floral traits by a putative moth pollinator selective agent, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6q573n5w1

Abstract

Conflicting selection is an important evolutionary mechanism since it impedes directional evolution and helps to maintain phenotypic variation. It can arise when mutualistic and antagonistic selective agents exert opposing selection on the same trait and when distinct phenotypic optima are favored by different fitness components. In this study, we test for conflicting selection through different sexual functions of the hermaphroditic plant, Silene stellata during its early and late flowering season. We find selection is consistently stronger during the early flowering season, which aligns with the activity peak of the pollinating seed predator Hadena ectypa. Importantly, we observe sex-specific selection on petal dimensions to have opposite signs. We propose that the observed sexually conflicting selection on petal design results from the negative selection through female function for the avoidance of oviposition and the subsequent fruit predation by H. ectypa larvae and the positive selection through male function for pollen export by H. ectypa adults. The Silene-Hadena interaction has previously been considered to be largely parasitic. Our findings suggest a trade-off mechanism that could thwart the evolution of an “escape route” from the nocturnal pollination syndrome by Silene spp. and contribute to the long-term maintenance of the Silene-Hadena system.

Methods

This dataset was collected during field experiments conducted at Mountain Lake Biological Station between 2012 and 2013. 

Usage Notes

The dataset contains phenotypic measurements,  adult and offspring genotypes on 8 microsatellite loci, and egg count data from field experiments conducted between 2012-2013. 

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1501799

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-0108285

University of Maryland

Smithsonian Institution