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Data from: Predation drives morphological convergence in the Gambusia panuco species group among lotic and lentic habitats

Citation

Moody, Eric K.; Lozano-Vilano, M.L. (2017), Data from: Predation drives morphological convergence in the Gambusia panuco species group among lotic and lentic habitats, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.j7n42

Abstract

Fish morphology is often constrained by a trade-off between optimizing steady vs. unsteady swimming performance due to opposing effects of caudal peduncle size. Lotic environments tend to select for steady swimming performance, leading to smaller caudal peduncles, while predators tend to select for unsteady swimming performance, leading to larger caudal peduncles. However, it is unclear which aspect of performance should be optimized across heterogeneous flow and predation environments and how this heterogeneity may affect parallel phenotypic evolution. We investigated this question among four Gambusia species in northeastern Mexico, specifically the riverine G. panuco, the spring endemics G. alvarezi and G. hurtadoi, and a fourth species, G. marshi, found in a variety of habitats with varying predation pressure in the Cuatro Ciénegas basin and Río Salado de Nadadores. We employed a geometric morphometric analysis to examine how body shapes of both male and female fish differ among species and habitats and with piscivore presence. We found that high-predation and low-predation species diverged morphologically, with G. marshi exhibiting a variable, intermediate body shape. Within G. marshi, body morphology converged in high-predation environments regardless of flow velocity, and fish from high-predation sites had larger relative caudal peduncle areas. However, we found that G. marshi from low-predation environments diverged in morphology between sub-basins of Cuatro Ciénegas, indicating other differences among these basins that merit further study. Our results suggest that a morphological trade-off promotes parallel evolution of body shape in fishes colonizing high-predation environments and that changing predation pressure can strongly impact morphological evolution in these species.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: No

Location

Mexico