Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 489–516 | Cite as

Contrasting post-settlement selection results in many-to-one mapping of high performance phenotypes in the Hawaiian waterfall-climbing goby Sicyopterus stimpsoni

  • Kristine N. MoodyEmail author
  • Sandy M. Kawano
  • William C. Bridges
  • Richard W. Blob
  • Heiko L. Schoenfuss
  • Margaret B. Ptacek
Original Paper


Natural selection drives adaptive evolution, but contrasting environmental pressures may lead to trade-offs between phenotypes that confer different performances. Such trade-offs may weaken the strength of selection and/or generate complex fitness surfaces with multiple local optima that correspond to different selection regimes. We evaluated how differences in patterns of phenotypic selection might promote morphological differences between subpopulations of the amphidromous Hawaiian waterfall-climbing goby, Sicyopterus stimpsoni. We conducted laboratory experiments on fish from the islands of Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i (the “Big Island”) to compare patterns of linear and nonlinear selection, and the opportunity for selection, that result from two contrasting pressures, predator evasion and waterfall climbing, which vary in intensity between islands. We found directional and nonlinear selection were strongest when individuals were exposed to their primary selective pressures (predator evasion on Kaua‘i, waterfall climbing on the Big Island). However, the opportunity for selection was greater for the non-primary pressure: climbing on Kaua‘i, predator evasion on the Big Island. Canonical rotation of the nonlinear gamma matrix demonstrated that individuals from Kaua‘i and the Big Island occupy regions near their local fitness peaks for some traits. Therefore, selection for predator evasion on Kaua‘i and climbing on the Big Island may be less effective in promoting morphological changes in this species, because variation of functionally important traits in their respective environments may have been reduced by directional or stabilizing selection. These results demonstrate that despite constraints on the opportunities for selection, population differences in phenotypic traits can arise due to differences in selective regimes. For S. stimpsoni, sufficient variation exists in other locomotor traits, allowing for necessary levels of performance in the contrasting selective regime (i.e., climbing on Kaua‘i and predator evasion on the Big Island) through many-to-one-mapping, which may be essential for the survival of local populations in an evanescent island environment.


Morphology Fish Linear selection Nonlinear selection Fitness surface 



We gratefully acknowledge the Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources, especially Bob Nishimoto, Kim Peyton, Lance Nishiura, Wade Ishikawa, Troy Sakihara, Troy Shimoda, Tim Shindo, Darrel Kuamo’o, and Alysha Cabral for logistical support during field experiments. We thank Takashi Maie for assistance with collection and field experiments. We also thank Rose Curry and Caitlin McPherson for assistance with collecting fish morphometrics.


Primary funding was provided through National Science Foundation Grants (IOS-0817911 and IOS-0817794). Additional funding was provided by the Women’s National Farm and Garden Association Tyson Memorial Fellowship to S.K. A portion of this work was conducted while S. K. was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, an Institute sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Compliance with ethical standards

Clemson University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval (ARC2007-090 and AUP2008-071) and St. Cloud State University IACUC approval (#1207 and #0113).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10682_2017_9889_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristine N. Moody
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sandy M. Kawano
    • 2
    • 3
  • William C. Bridges
    • 4
  • Richard W. Blob
    • 2
  • Heiko L. Schoenfuss
    • 5
  • Margaret B. Ptacek
    • 2
  1. 1.The ByWater InstituteTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  3. 3.National Institute for Mathematical and Biological SynthesisUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mathematical SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  5. 5.Aquatic Toxicology LaboratorySt. Cloud State UniversitySt. CloudUSA

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