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Small scale genetic and morphological differentiation in sympatric Eurasian perch
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Limnology.
(English)Manuscript (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95047OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95047DiVA: diva2:169108
Available from: 2006-11-07 Created: 2006-11-07 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Interplay Between Environment and Genes on Morphological Variation in Perch – Implications for Resource Polymorphisms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interplay Between Environment and Genes on Morphological Variation in Perch – Implications for Resource Polymorphisms
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent research has suggested that individual specialization within populations could be substantial and more common than previously acknowledged. Eurasian perch is one of many species of fish in lakes of postglacial origin that displays a morphological and dietary variation tightly coupled to the littoral and pelagic habitats of the lake. The occurrence of such resource polymorphisms might have important consequences for local adaptation and might also be an important initial step in speciation.

I have investigated the importance of a number of factors for the development of resource polymorphisms using perch as a study organism. I found a weak genetic basis for morphological differences, and the environmental influence on morphology was of such a magnitude that an induced morphology could be reversed. The results nevertheless suggested that genetic differentiation could be substantial at small spatial and temporal scales, even within habitats. Several environmental factors were shown to influence the morphological development, and the results also suggest that behavioral differences could mediate a morphological response. I also found evidence for that competition-driven divergence might only occur when divergence in resource use is favoured at the same time as growth rates are kept sufficiently high for character divergence to be effective. The results finally indicate that divergence in the gut length of individuals might co-vary with habitat and diet use in resource polymorphic populations. This might enhance habitat fidelity and possibly also facilitate the persistence of resource polymorphisms since individuals should experience a cost of switching diets due to a too specific digestive system.

Based on these findings I conclude that small scaled genetic differentiation might be more common than currently acknowledged, that more multi-factorial studies are needed if we are to fully understand the mechanisms behind trait diversity, and that competition not always favors divergence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. 55 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 235
Ecology, Perch, Resource polymorphism, Genetic differentiation, Phenotypic plasticity, Morphology, Competition, Character divergence, Behavior, Growth rate, Resource level, Gut lenght, Ekologi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7212 (URN)91-554-6696-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-11-28, Lindahlssalen, Kärnhuset, EBC, Norbyvägen 18, 752 36, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2006-11-07 Created: 2006-11-07 Last updated: 2011-04-20Bibliographically approved

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