Data from: Polymorphism and multiple correlated characters: do asymmetry flatfish morphs also differ in swimming performance and metabolic rate?
Bergstrom, Carolyn A. et al. (2019), Data from: Polymorphism and multiple correlated characters: do asymmetry flatfish morphs also differ in swimming performance and metabolic rate?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cm1h0p6
1. Phenotypic polymorphisms often differ in multiple correlated traits including morphology, behavior, and physiology, all of which can affect performance. How selection acts on these suites of traits can be complex and difficult to discern. Starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus) is a pleuronectid flatfish that exhibits rare polymorphism for the direction of eye migration and resulting whole-body asymmetry. P. stellatus asymmetry morphs differ subtly in several anatomical traits, foraging behavior, and stable isotope signatures, suggesting they may be ecologically segregated, yet performance and metabolic differences are unknown. 2. Here we tested the hypothesis that sinistral and dextral P. stellatus asymmetry morphs diverge in performance and routine metabolic rate (RMR) by comparing prolonged swimming endurance (time to exhaustion at a constant swimming speed), fast-start swimming velocity and acceleration, and rate of oxygen consumption. Based on subtle morphological differences in caudal tail size, we expected sinistral P. stellatus to have superior prolonged swimming endurance relative to dextral fish, but inferior fast-start performance. 4. Sinistral P. stellatus exhibited both significantly greater prolonged swimming performance and fast-start swimming performance. However, sinistral P. stellatus also exhibited greater RMR, suggesting that their general swimming performance could be enhanced by an elevated metabolic rate. 5. Divergence between P. stellatus asymmetry morphs in swimming performance and metabolic rates contributes to growing evidence of ecological segregation between them, as well as our understanding of possible ecological consequences of asymmetry direction in flatfishes. These data provide an example of the complexity of polymorphisms associated with multiple correlated traits in a rare case of asymmetry polymorphism in a marine flatfish species.