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Niche divergence facilitated by fine-scale ecological partitioning in a recent cichlid fish adaptive radiation

Ford, AG; Rüber, L; Newton, J; Dasmahapatra, KK; Balarin, JD; Bruun, K; Day, JJ; (2016) Niche divergence facilitated by fine-scale ecological partitioning in a recent cichlid fish adaptive radiation. Evolution , 70 (12) pp. 2718-2735. 10.1111/evo.13072. Green open access

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Abstract

Ecomorphological differentiation is a key feature of adaptive radiations, with a general trend for specialization and niche expansion following divergence. Ecological opportunity afforded by invasion of a new habitat is thought to act as an ecological release, facilitating divergence, and speciation. Here, we investigate trophic adaptive morphology and ecology of an endemic clade of oreochromine cichlid fishes (Alcolapia) that radiated along a herbivorous trophic axis following colonization of an isolated lacustrine environment, and demonstrate phenotype-environment correlation. Ecological and morphological divergence of the Alcolapia species flock are examined in a phylogenomic context, to infer ecological niche occupation within the radiation. Species divergence is observed in both ecology and morphology, supporting the importance of ecological speciation within the radiation. Comparison with an outgroup taxon reveals large-scale ecomorphological divergence but shallow genomic differentiation within the Alcolapia adaptive radiation. Ancestral morphological reconstruction suggests lake colonization by a generalist oreochromine phenotype that diverged in Lake Natron to varied herbivorous morphologies akin to specialist herbivores in Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi.

Type: Article
Title: Niche divergence facilitated by fine-scale ecological partitioning in a recent cichlid fish adaptive radiation
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/evo.13072
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.13072
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Alcolapia, ecomorphology, geometric morphometrics, herbivorous diversification, soda lakes, stable isotopes
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1513163
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