Mechanism of speciation in sympatry in crater lake cichlids: the polymorphic Neotropical cichlid fish Amphilophus citrinellus species complex

Beschreibung

Recently, both theoretical and empirical evidence for sympatric speciation suggested that some evolutinary conditions are conducive to speciation in sympatry. The Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus citrinellus) fits several of the key characteristics of these models - with stron assortative mating on the basis of a color polymorphism coupled with tropic and ecological differentiation based on a polymorphism in their pharyngeal jaws. This species complex is a young radiation in the process of speciation. We plan to use microsatellite markers and a segment of the mtDNA control region to study the population-genetics of polymorphic populations of the Midas cichlid species complex from three crater lakes and two large lakes in Nicaragua. All populations are known to be strongly genetically differentiated on the basis of geography. So far the available evidence suggests that genetic separation, even in fully sympatric conditions of the crater lakes, is more strongly based color and we failed to find significant genetic structuring based on trophic differences and ecological niche separation between jaw morphs. Preliminary data therefor support the hypothesis that sexual selection contributes more strongly or earlier during the process of speciation than ecological separation. In this project we plan to increase the sampling and the ecological characterizatin of both morphs of Amphilophus citrinells, and its closely related species, to investigate the rates of divergence (genetically and phenotypicalls - through morphometrics) and the mechanisms of repeated sympatric speciation in parallel ecological systems.



Recently, both theoretical and empirical evidence for sympatric speciation suggested that some evolutinary conditions are conducive to speciation in sympatry. The Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus citrinellus) fits several of the key characteristics of these models - with stron assortative mating on the basis of a color polymorphism coupled with tropic and ecological differentiation based on a polymorphism in their pharyngeal jaws. This species complex is a young radiation in the process of speciation. We plan to use microsatellite markers and a segment of the mtDNA control region to study the population-genetics of polymorphic populations of the Midas cichlid species complex from three crater lakes and two large lakes in Nicaragua. All populations are known to be strongly genetically differentiated on the basis of geography. So far the available evidence suggests that genetic separation, even in fully sympatric conditions of the crater lakes, is more strongly based color and we failed to find significant genetic structuring based on trophic differences and ecological niche separation between jaw morphs. Preliminary data therefor support the hypothesis that sexual selection contributes more strongly or earlier during the process of speciation than ecological separation. In this project we plan to increase the sampling and the ecological characterizatin of both morphs of Amphilophus citrinells, and its closely related species, to investigate the rates of divergence (genetically and phenotypicalls - through morphometrics) and the mechanisms of repeated sympatric speciation in parallel ecological systems.

Institutionen
  • FB Biologie
Mittelgeber
NameKennzifferBeschreibungLaufzeit
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft602/0601.02.2006 – 31.01.2008
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft523/0401.03.2002 – 30.06.2006
Weitere Informationen
Laufzeit: 01.03.2002 – 31.01.2008