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Data from: Conflict between biotic and climatic selective pressures acting on an extended phenotype in a subarctic, but not temperate, environment

Citation

Rohwer, Vanya G.; Bonier, Frances; Martin, Paul R. (2015), Data from: Conflict between biotic and climatic selective pressures acting on an extended phenotype in a subarctic, but not temperate, environment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.c65d8

Abstract

Climatic selective pressures are thought to dominate biotic selective pressures at higher latitudes. However, few studies have experimentally tested how these selective pressures differentially act on traits across latitudes because traits can rarely be manipulated independently of the organism in nature. We overcame this challenge by using an extended phenotype—active bird nests—and conducted reciprocal transplant experiments between a subarctic and temperate site, separated by 14° of latitude. At the subarctic site, biotic selective pressures (nest predation) favoured smaller, non-local temperate nests, whereas climatic selective pressures (temperature) favoured larger local nests, particularly at colder temperatures. By contrast, at the temperate site, climatic and biotic selective pressures acted similarly on temperate and subarctic nests. Our results illustrate a functional trade-off in the subarctic between nest morphologies favoured by biotic versus climatic selective pressures, with climate favouring local nest morphologies. At our temperate site, however, allocative trade-offs in the time and effort devoted to nest construction favour smaller, local nests. Our findings illustrate a conflict between biotic and climatic selective pressures at the northern extremes of a species geographical range, and suggest that trade-offs between trait function and trait elaboration act differentially across latitude to create broad geographic variation in traits.

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