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      Lessons from a natural experiment: Allopatric morphological divergence and sympatric diversification in the Midas cichlid species complex are largely influenced by ecology in a deterministic way

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          Explaining why some lineages diversify while others do not and how are key objectives in evolutionary biology. Young radiations of closely related species derived from the same source population provide an excellent opportunity to disentangle the relative contributions of possible drivers of diversification. In these settings, lineage‐specific effects are shared and can be ruled out. Moreover, the relevant demographic and ecological parameters can be estimated accurately. Midas cichlid fish in Nicaragua have repeatedly colonized several crater lakes, diverged from the same source populations, and, interestingly, diversified in some of them but not others. Here, using the most comprehensive molecular and geometric morphometric data set on Midas cichlids to date (∼20,000 SNPs, 12 landmarks, ∼700 individuals), we aim to understand why and how crater lake populations diverge and why some of them are more prone to diversify in sympatry than others. Taking ancestor‐descendant relationships into account, we find that Midas cichlids diverged in parallel from their source population mostly—but not exclusively—by evolving more slender body shapes in all six investigated crater lakes. Admixture among crater lakes has possibly facilitated this process in one case, but overall, admixture and secondary waves of colonization cannot predict morphological divergence and intralacustrine diversification. Instead, morphological divergence is larger the more dissimilar a crater lake is compared to the source lake and happens rapidly after colonization followed by a slow‐down with time. Our data also provide some evidence that founder effects may positively contribute to divergence. The depth of a crater lake is positively associated with variation in body shapes (and number of species), presumably by providing more ecological opportunities. In conclusion, we find that parallel morphological divergence in allopatry and the propensity for diversification in sympatry across the entire Midas cichlid fish radiation is partly predictable and mostly driven by ecology.

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          Most cited references 63

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          Hybridization and speciation.

          Hybridization has many and varied impacts on the process of speciation. Hybridization may slow or reverse differentiation by allowing gene flow and recombination. It may accelerate speciation via adaptive introgression or cause near-instantaneous speciation by allopolyploidization. It may have multiple effects at different stages and in different spatial contexts within a single speciation event. We offer a perspective on the context and evolutionary significance of hybridization during speciation, highlighting issues of current interest and debate. In secondary contact zones, it is uncertain if barriers to gene flow will be strengthened or broken down due to recombination and gene flow. Theory and empirical evidence suggest the latter is more likely, except within and around strongly selected genomic regions. Hybridization may contribute to speciation through the formation of new hybrid taxa, whereas introgression of a few loci may promote adaptive divergence and so facilitate speciation. Gene regulatory networks, epigenetic effects and the evolution of selfish genetic material in the genome suggest that the Dobzhansky-Muller model of hybrid incompatibilities requires a broader interpretation. Finally, although the incidence of reinforcement remains uncertain, this and other interactions in areas of sympatry may have knock-on effects on speciation both within and outside regions of hybridization. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
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            Drought mediates the importance of stochastic community assembly.

             M Chase (2007)
            Historically, the biodiversity and composition of species in a locality was thought to be influenced primarily by deterministic factors. In such cases, species' niches create differential responses to environmental conditions and interspecific interactions, which combine to determine that locality's biodiversity and species composition. More recently, proponents of the neutral theory have placed a premium on how stochastic factors, such as birth, death, colonization, and extinction (termed "ecological drift") influence diversity and species composition in a locality independent of their niches. Here, I develop the hypothesis that the relative importance of stochastic ecological drift and/or priority effects depend on the harshness of the ecological filter in those habitats. I established long-term experimental ponds to explore the relative importance of community assembly history and drought on patterns of community compositional similarity among ponds that were otherwise similar in their environmental conditions. I show considerable site-to-site variation in pond community composition in the absence of drought that likely resulted from a combination of stochastic ecological drift and priority effects. However, in ponds that experienced drought, I found much higher similarity among communities that likely resulted from niche-selection filtering out species from the regional pool that could not tolerate such environmental harshness. These results implicate the critical role for understanding the processes of community assembly when examining patterns of biodiversity at different spatial scales.
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              Ecological opportunity and the origin of adaptive radiations.

              Ecological opportunity--through entry into a new environment, the origin of a key innovation or extinction of antagonists--is widely thought to link ecological population dynamics to evolutionary diversification. The population-level processes arising from ecological opportunity are well documented under the concept of ecological release. However, there is little consensus as to how these processes promote phenotypic diversification, rapid speciation and adaptive radiation. We propose that ecological opportunity could promote adaptive radiation by generating specific changes to the selective regimes acting on natural populations, both by relaxing effective stabilizing selection and by creating conditions that ultimately generate diversifying selection. We assess theoretical and empirical evidence for these effects of ecological opportunity and review emerging phylogenetic approaches that attempt to detect the signature of ecological opportunity across geological time. Finally, we evaluate the evidence for the evolutionary effects of ecological opportunity in the diversification of Caribbean Anolis lizards. Some of the processes that could link ecological opportunity to adaptive radiation are well documented, but others remain unsupported. We suggest that more study is required to characterize the form of natural selection acting on natural populations and to better describe the relationship between ecological opportunity and speciation rates.

                Author and article information

                Evol Lett
                Evol Lett
                Evolution Letters
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                27 June 2018
                August 2018
                : 2
                : 4 ( doiID: 10.1002/evl3.2018.2.issue-4 )
                : 323-340
                [ 1 ] Department of Biology University of Konstanz Universitätsstraße 10 78457 Konstanz Germany
                [ 2 ] Current Address: Genetics Area, Department of Functional Biology University of Oviedo 33006 Oviedo Spain
                [ 3 ] Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts 02138
                © 2018, Society for the Study of Evolution

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 3, Pages: 18, Words: 13297
                Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
                Award ID: MA 6144/1‐1
                Funded by: European Research Council
                Award ID: ERC “GenAdap” 293700
                Custom metadata
                August 2018
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:version= mode:remove_FC converted:04.09.2018


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