Three-spined stickleback armour predicted by body size, minimum winter temperature and pH

Smith, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-3285-0379, Spence, R., Zieba, G., Klepaker, T. and Przybylski, M., 2020. Three-spined stickleback armour predicted by body size, minimum winter temperature and pH. Journal of Zoology. ISSN 0952-8369 (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

Similar phenotypes evolve under equivalent environmental conditions through parallel evolution. Because they have repeatedly invaded and adapted to new freshwater environments, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) offers a powerful system for understanding the agents of selection in nature that drive parallel evolution. Here we examine the ecological and environmental variables responsible for morphological variation in three-spined stickleback populations across its European range. We collected fish from 85 populations, encompassing much of the European latitudinal range of the species and including lowland rivers and lakes, coastal lagoons, and moorland ponds. We measured biotic and environmental variables at all sites along with morphological traits for 2,358 individuals. Using an information theory approach, we identified body size, minimum average winter temperature and pH as primary predictors of stickleback armour evolution, challenging current hypotheses for stickleback morphological diversification and demonstrating the fundamental role played by body size and scaling in mediating responses to selection. Stickleback lateral plate phenotype represents a potentially powerful tool for monitoring change in climate variables across the northern temperate region.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Zoology
Creators: Smith, C., Spence, R., Zieba, G., Klepaker, T. and Przybylski, M.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 8 January 2020
ISSN: 0952-8369
Identifiers:
NumberType
1268214Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 10 Jan 2020 13:35
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2020 12:44
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/38949

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