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Dryad

Sexually mediated phenotypic variation within and between sexes as a continuum structured by ecology: The mosaic nature of skeletal variation across body regions in Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.)

Cite this dataset

Jamniczky, Heather et al. (2022). Sexually mediated phenotypic variation within and between sexes as a continuum structured by ecology: The mosaic nature of skeletal variation across body regions in Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.xd2547dkw

Abstract

Ecological character displacement between the sexes, and sexual selection, integrate into a convergent set of factors that produce sexual variation. Ecologically-modulated, sexually mediated variation within and between sexes may be a major contributor to the amount of total variation that selection can act on in species. Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) display rapid adaptive responses and sexual variation in many phenotypic traits. We examined phenotypic variation in the skull, pectoral and pelvic girdles of threespine stickleback from two freshwater and two coastal marine sites on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada, using an approach that avoids a priori assumptions about bimodal patterns of variation. We quantified shape and size of the cranial, pectoral and pelvic regions of sticklebacks in marine and freshwater habitats using 3D geometric morphometrics and an index of sexually mediated variation. We show that the expression of phenotypic variation is structured in part by the effects of both habitat marine vs freshwater and the effects of individual sites within each habitat. Relative size exerts variable influence, and patterns of phenotypic variation associated with sex vary among body regions. This fine-grained quantification of sexually mediated variation in the context of habitat difference and different anatomical structures indicates a complex relationship between genetically inferred sex and environmental factors, demonstrating that the interplay between shared genetic background and sexually mediated, ecologically-based selective pressures structures the phenotypic expression of complex traits.

Methods

Description of methods used for collection/generation of data: Data consist of 3D landmarks digitized from computed tomographic models of three spine stickleback skeletons. See accompanying publication for details.

Methods for processing the data: Data are raw. Additional processing steps required for the analysis described in the accompanying publication are included in the code provided. The analysis uses the tools of geometric morphometrics.

Usage notes

Instrument- or software-specific information needed to interpret the data: Code was written for use with the following platforms, packages and their dependencies:

  • R v. 4.1.3
  • RStudio v. 2022.02.1 
  • geomorph # v.4.0.3 morphometrics
  • RRPP # v. 1.2.3 morphometrics
  • ggplot2 # v. 3.3.5 plotting
  • plyr # v. 1.8.6 data manipulation
  • vegan # v. 2.5-7 broken stick calculation

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Pacific Lutheran University