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Genetic and morphological divergence reveals local subdivision of perch (Perca fluviatilis L.)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology.
2009 (English)In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4066, E-ISSN 1095-8312, Vol. 96, no 4, 746-758 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The level of gene flow is an important factor influencing genetic differentiation between populations. Typically, geographic distance is considered to be the major factor limiting dispersal and should thus only influence the degree of genetic divergence at larger spatial scales. However, recent studies have revealed the possibility for small-scale genetic differentiation, suggesting that the spatial scale considered is pivotal for finding patterns of isolation by distance. To address this question, genetic and morphological differentiation were studied at two spatial scales (range 2–13 km and range 300 m to 2 km) in the perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) from the east coast archipelago of Sweden, using seven microsatellite loci and geometric morphometrics. We found highly significant genetic differentiation between sampled locations at both scales. At the larger spatial scale, the distance not affecting the level of divergence. At the small scale, however, we found subtle patterns of isolation by distance. In addition, we also found morphological divergence between locations, congruent with a spatial separation at a microgeographic scale, most likely due to phenotypic plasticity. The present study highlights the importance of geographical scale and indicates that there might be a disparity between the dispersal capacity of a species and the actual movement of genes. Thus, how we view the environment and possible barriers to dispersal might have great implications for our ability to fully understand the evolution of genetic differentiation, local adaptation, and, in the end, speciation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell , 2009. Vol. 96, no 4, 746-758 p.
Keyword [en]
Differentiation, Dispersal, Gene flow, Isolation by distance, Microsatellites, Morphometrics
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107229DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2008.01149.xISI: 000264730400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107229DiVA: diva2:228369
Available from: 2009-07-30 Created: 2009-07-30 Last updated: 2016-04-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Population divergence at small spatial scales: – theoretical and empirical investigations in perch
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Population divergence at small spatial scales: – theoretical and empirical investigations in perch
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Genetically structured populations arise when gene flow between groups of individuals is hindered by geographical, behavioural or temporal barriers. The identification of such groups is important for understanding evolution and has large implications for conservation concern. The field of population subdivision has received a lot of interest throughout the years and gained empirical support from a number of species. However, very little is known about population structure at small spatial scales, especially in a highly mobile species such as fish. The main object for my thesis was to further investigate population differentiation, explicitly at small spatial scales in the Eurasian perch. My results show that in this species, genetic differentiation occurs, even at very small spatial scales, both within lakes and in the Baltic Sea. Additionally, the differentiation can be stable over years and thus have a large impact in the evolution of adaptation to different environments. I also found barriers to gene flow that overlapped with the largest change in spring temperature, suggesting a temporal difference in spawning. Morphological differences were found at these small scales as well which indicates that a difference in food resources might be an underlying cause of change. My thesis work shows that the aquatic environment might not be as homogenous as widely thought and that there could be barriers or adaptations to different environments that hinder the fish from genetic panmixia. Slight patterns of isolation by distance (IBD) were found in the Baltic Sea, implying that the distance (i.e. currents) effect the level of differentiation via drifting of larvae and/or small fish. However, I have also theoretically investigated the IBD model of and seen that it is no longer correct when differences in population sizes are introduced. The pattern of IBD can mean high levels of gene flow or no gene flow at all, solely dependent on population size differences and fluctuations. My thesis has resulted in new and important findings regarding the existence and cause of genetic differentiation at very small spatial scales and thus added new knowledge into the field of evolution and speciation. In addition, my results also give insights into the contemporary state of the Eurasian perch and future evolutionary potential.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 33 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 659
Keyword
Perca fluviatilis L., Perch, Small scale genetic differentiation, Morphometrics, Isolation by distance, Dispersal, Gene flow, Microsatellites, Spatiotemporal stability, Barriers
National Category
Biological Sciences Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107223 (URN)978-91-554-7573-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-09-18, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-08-28 Created: 2009-07-29 Last updated: 2017-07-12Bibliographically approved

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