Data from: Correlation of shell phenotype and local environment suggests a role for natural selection in the evolution of Placostylus snails
Dowle, Eddy J.; Morgan-Richards, Mary; Brescia, Fabrice; Trewick, Steve A. (2015), Data from: Correlation of shell phenotype and local environment suggests a role for natural selection in the evolution of Placostylus snails, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nb526
The giant edible Placostylus snails of New Caledonia occur across a wide range of environmental conditions, from the dry southwest to the wetter central and northeastern regions. In large, slow-moving animals such as Placostylus, speciation could be assumed to be largely driven by allopatry and genetic drift as opposed to natural selection. We examined variation in shell morphology using geometric morphometrics and genetic structure within two species of Placostylus (P. fibratus, P. porphyrostomus), to determine the drivers of diversity in this group. Despite the current patchy distribution of snails on New Caledonia, both mtDNA and nuclear SNP data sets (>3000 loci) showed weak admixing between populations and species. Shell morphology was concordant with the genetic clusters we identified and had a strong relationship with local environment. The genetic data, in contrast to the morphological data, did not show concordance with climatic conditions, suggesting the snails are not limited in their ability to adapt to different environments. In sympatry, P. fibratus and P. porphyrostomus maintained genetic and morphological differences, suggesting a genetic basis of phenotypic variation. Convergence of shell shape was observed in two adjacent populations that are genetically isolated but experience similar habitat and climatic conditions. Conversely, some populations in contrasting environments were morphologically distinct although genetically indistinguishable. We infer that morphological divergence in the Placostylus snails of New Caledonia is mediated by adaptation to the local environment.