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Data from: Isolation of Metrosideros (`Ohi`a) taxa on O`ahu increases with elevation and extreme environments

Cite this dataset

Stacy, Elizabeth; Sakishima, Tomoko; Tharp, Heaven; Snow, Neil (2019). Data from: Isolation of Metrosideros (`Ohi`a) taxa on O`ahu increases with elevation and extreme environments [Dataset]. Dryad.


Species radiations should be facilitated by short generation times and limited dispersal among discontinuous populations. Hawaii’s hyper-diverse, landscape-dominant tree,
Metrosideros, is unique among the islands’ radiations for its massive populations that occur continuously over space and time within islands, its exceptional capacity for gene flow by both pollen and seed, and its extended life span (ca. >650 years). Metrosideros shows the greatest phenotypic and microsatellite DNA diversity on O`ahu, where taxa occur in tight sympatry or parapatry in mesic and montane wet forest on two volcanoes. We document the nonrandom distributions of 12 taxa (including unnamed morphotypes) along elevation gradients, measure phenotypes of ~6-year-old common-garden plants of eight taxa to verify heritability of phenotypes, and examine genotypes of 476 wild adults at nine microsatellite loci to compare the strengths of isolation across taxa, volcanoes and distance. All eight taxa retained their diagnostic phenotypes in the common garden. Populations were isolated by taxon to a range of degrees (pairwise FST between taxa: 0.004 – 0.267), and there was no pattern of isolation by distance or by elevation; however, significant isolation between volcanoes was observed within monotypic species, suggesting limited gene flow between volcanoes. Among the infraspecific taxa of M. polymorpha, genetic diversity and isolation significantly decreased and increased, respectively, with elevation. Overall, five of the six most isolated taxa were associated with highest elevations or otherwise extreme environments. These findings suggest a principal role for selection in the origin and maintenance of the exceptional diversity that occurs within continuous Metrosideros stands on O`ahu.


Raw data are presented.


National Science Foundation, Award: IOS 0542350

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB 0954274

National Science Foundation, Award: HRD 0833211