Data from: Shifting thresholds: rapid evolution of migratory life histories in steelhead/rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss
Phillis, Corey C. et al. (2015), Data from: Shifting thresholds: rapid evolution of migratory life histories in steelhead/rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hj797
Expression of phenotypic plasticity depends on reaction norms adapted to historic selective regimes; anthropogenic changes in these selection regimes necessitate contemporary evolution or declines in productivity and possibly extinction. Adaptation of conditional strategies following a change in the selection regime requires evolution of either the environmentally influenced cue (e.g., size-at-age) or the state (e.g., size threshold) at which an individual switches between alternative tactics. Using a population of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) introduced above a barrier waterfall in 1910, we evaluate how the conditional strategy to migrate evolves in response to selection against migration. We created 9 families and 917 offspring from 14 parents collected from the above- and below-barrier populations. After 1 year of common garden-rearing above-barrier offspring were 11% smaller and 32% lighter than below-barrier offspring. Using a novel analytical approach, we estimate that the mean size at which above-barrier fish switch between the resident and migrant tactic is 43% larger than below-barrier fish. As a result, above-barrier fish were 26% less likely to express the migratory tactic. Our results demonstrate how rapid and opposing changes in size-at-age and threshold size contribute to the contemporary evolution of a conditional strategy and indicate that migratory barriers may elicit rapid evolution toward the resident life history on timescales relevant for conservation and management of conditionally migratory species.