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Data from: Maladaptive plasticity masks the effects of natural selection in the red-shouldered soapberry bug

Citation

Cenzer, Meredith Lane (2017), Data from: Maladaptive plasticity masks the effects of natural selection in the red-shouldered soapberry bug, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bn89r

Abstract

Natural selection can produce local adaptation, but local adaptation can be masked by maladaptive plasticity. Maladaptive plasticity may arise as a result of gene flow producing novel gene combinations that have not been exposed to selection. In the 1980s, populations of the red-shouldered soapberry bug (Jadera haematoloma) were locally adapted to feed on the seeds of a native host plant and an introduced host plant; by 2014, local differentiation in beak length had been lost, likely as a consequence of increased gene flow. In this study, I assess the relative contributions of natural selection and plasticity to beak length on these two hosts. I confirm the earlier hypothesis that the host plant seedpod drives divergent natural selection on beak length. I then demonstrate that the proximate cause of the loss of observable differentiation in beak length is maladaptive plasticity, which masks persistent genetic differences between host-associated populations. Maladaptive plasticity is highest in areas where the two plants co-occur; in combination with historical measures of plasticity in hybrids, this indicates that maladaptive plasticity may be a consequence of ongoing gene flow. Although natural selection produced locally adapted genotypes in soapberry bugs, maladaptive plasticity is masking phenotypic differences between populations in nature.

Usage Notes

Location

Gainesville
Leesburg
Ft. Myers
Plantation Key
Homestead
Key Largo
Florida
Lake Wales