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AFLP and geometric morphometrics for Littorina fabalis

Cite this dataset

Galindo, Juan; Faria, Rui (2020). AFLP and geometric morphometrics for Littorina fabalis [Dataset]. Dryad.


Low dispersal marine intertidal species facing strong divergent selective pressures associated with steep environmental gradients have a great potential to inform us about local adaptation and reproductive isolation. Among these, gastropods of the genus Littorina offer a unique system to study parallel phenotypic divergence resulting from adaptation to different habitats related with wave exposure. In this study, we focused on two Littorina fabalis ecotypes from Northern European shores and compared the patterns of habitat-related phenotypic and genetic divergence across three different geographic levels (local, regional and global). Geometric morphometric analyses revealed that individuals from habitats moderately exposed to waves usually present a larger shell size with a wider aperture than those from sheltered habitats. The phenotypic clustering of L. fabalis by habitat across most locations (mainly in terms of shell size) support an important role of ecology in morphological divergence. A genome scan based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) revealed a heterogeneous pattern of differentiation across the genome between populations from the two different habitats, suggesting ecotype divergence in the presence of gene flow. The contrasting patterns of genetic structure between nonoutlier and outlier loci, and the decreased sharing of outlier loci with geographic distance among locations are compatible with parallel evolution of phenotypic divergence, with an important contribution of gene flow and/or ancestral variation. In the future, model-based inference studies based on sequence data across the entire genome will help unravelling these evolutionary hypotheses, improving our knowledge about adaptation and its influence on diversification within the marine realm.


Samples of the marine snail Littorina fabalis were collected in several locations of the North Atlantic shores, including UK, Sweden and Norway. The shell shape was analysed by geometric morphometrics methods. Then DNA was extracted from the snails and these samples were genotyped with AFLP (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism) markers.

These methodologies are clearly described in the publication:

Galindo, J., Carvalho, J., Sotelo, G., Duvetorp, M., Costa, D., Kemppainen, P., Panova, M., Kaliontzopoulou, A., Johannesson, K. and Faria, R. (2020), Genetic and morphological divergence between Littorina fabalis ecotypes in Northern Europe. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/jeb.13705

Usage notes

The datasets uploaded for the publication are explained in the ReadMe file.


Volkswagen Foundation, Award: 50500776

Volkswagen Foundation, Award: 50500776

Marie Sklodowska-Curie, Award: 706376

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Award: PTDC/BIA-EVF/113805/2009

Marie Sklodowska-Curie, Award: 706376