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Data from: Changes in sexual signals are greater than changes in ecological traits in a dichromatic group of fishes

Citation

Martin, Michael D.; Mendelson, Tamra C. (2014), Data from: Changes in sexual signals are greater than changes in ecological traits in a dichromatic group of fishes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n28rf

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms by which phenotypic divergence occurs is central to speciation research. These mechanisms can be revealed by measuring differences in traits that are subject to different selection pressures; greater influence of different types of selection can be inferred from greater divergence in associated traits. Here, we address the potential roles of natural and sexual selection in promoting phenotypic divergence between species of snubnose darters by comparing differences in body shape, an ecologically relevant trait, and male color, a sexual signal. Body shape was measured using geometric morphometrics, and male color was measured using digital photography and visual system-dependent color values. Differences in male color are larger than differences in body shape across 8 allopatric, phylogenetically independent species pairs. While this does not exclude the action of divergent natural selection, our results suggest a relatively more important role for sexual selection in promoting recent divergence in darters. Variation in the relative differences between male color and body shape across species pairs reflects the continuous nature of speciation mechanisms, ranging from ecological speciation to speciation by sexual selection alone.

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