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Data from: Genetic by environmental variation but no local adaptation in oysters (Crassostrea virginica)

Cite this dataset

Hughes, A. Randall et al. (2017). Data from: Genetic by environmental variation but no local adaptation in oysters (Crassostrea virginica) [Dataset]. Dryad.


Functional trait variation within and across populations can strongly influence population, community, and ecosystem processes, but the relative contributions of genetic vs. environmental factors to this variation are often not clear, potentially complicating conservation and restoration efforts. For example, local adaptation, a particular type of genetic by environmental (G*E) interaction in which the fitness of a population in its own habitat is greater than in other habitats, is often invoked in management practices, even in the absence of supporting evidence. Despite increasing attention to the potential for G*E interactions, few studies have tested multiple populations and environments simultaneously, limiting our understanding of the spatial consistency in patterns of adaptive genetic variation. In addition, few studies explicitly differentiate adaptation in response to predation from other biological and environmental factors. We conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment of first-generation eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) juveniles from six populations across three field sites spanning 1000 km in the southeastern Atlantic Bight in both the presence and absence of predation to test for G*E variation in this economically valuable and ecologically important species. We documented significant G*E variation in survival and growth, yet there was no evidence for local adaptation. Condition varied across oyster cohorts: Offspring of northern populations had better condition than offspring from the center of our region. Oyster populations in the southeastern Atlantic Bight differ in juvenile survival, growth, and condition, yet offspring from local broodstock do not have higher survival or growth than those from farther away. In the absence of population-specific performance information, oyster restoration and aquaculture may benefit from incorporating multiple populations into their practices.

Usage notes


National Science Foundation, Award: OCE-0961633


Southeastern United States