Data from: Strong and consistent natural selection associated with armour reduction in sticklebacks
Cite this dataset
Le Rouzic, Arnaud et al. (2011). Data from: Strong and consistent natural selection associated with armour reduction in sticklebacks [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8412
Measuring the strength of natural selection is tremendously important in evolutionary biology, but remains a challenging task. In this work, we analyse the characteristics of selection for a morphological change (lateral-plate reduction) in the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. Adaptation to freshwater, leading to the reduction or loss of the bony lateral armor, has indeed occurred in parallel on numerous occasions in this species. Completely-plated and low-plated sticklebacks were introduced into a pond, and the phenotypic changes were tracked for twenty years. Fish from the last generation were genotyped for the Ectodysplasin-A (Eda) locus, the major gene involved in armor development. We found a strong fitness advantage for the freshwater-type fish (in average, 20% for the freshwater morph, and 92% for the freshwater genotype). The trend is best explained by assuming that this fitness advantage is maximum at the beginning of the invasion and decreases with time. Such fitness differences provide a quantifiable example of rapid selection-driven phenotypic evolution associated to environmental change in a natural population.
Loberg lake (Canada)