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Fitness effects of spontaneous mutation in a warming world

Cite this dataset

Dudycha, Jeffry L.; Davenport, Elizabeth S.; Agrelius, Trenton C.; Harmon, Krista B. (2021). Fitness effects of spontaneous mutation in a warming world [Dataset]. Dryad.


Spontaneous mutations fuel evolutionary processes and differ in consequence, but the consequences depend on the environment. Biophysical considerations of protein thermostability predict that warm temperatures may systematically increase the deleteriousness of mutation. We sought to test whether mutation reduced fitness more when measured in an environment that reflected climate change projections for temperature. We investigated the effects of spontaneous mutations on life history, size, and fitness in 21 mutation accumulation lines and 12 control lines of Daphnia pulex at standard and elevated (+4℃) temperatures. Warmer temperature accelerated life history and reduced body length and clutch sizes. Mutation led to reduced mean clutch sizes and fitness estimates at both temperatures. We found no evidence of a systematic temperature-mutation interaction on trait means, although some lines showed evidence of beneficial mutation at one temperature and deleterious mutation at the other. However, trait variances are also influenced by mutation, and we observed increased variances due to mutation for most traits.  For variance of the intrinsic rate of increase and some reproductive traits, we found significant temperature-mutation interactions, with a larger increase due to mutation in the warmer environment. This suggests that selection on new mutations will be more efficient at elevated temperatures.


National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1556645