Arrival order and release from competition does not explain why haplochromine cichlids radiated in Lake Victoria

Muschick, Moritz; Russell, James M.; Jemmi, Eliane; Walker, Jonas; Stewart, Kathlyn M.; Murray, Alison M.; Dubois, Nathalie; Stager, J. Curt; Johnson, Thomas C.; Seehausen, Ole (2018). Arrival order and release from competition does not explain why haplochromine cichlids radiated in Lake Victoria. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Series B - biological sciences, 285(1878), p. 20180462. Royal Society of London 10.1098/rspb.2018.0462

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The frequent occurrence of adaptive radiations on oceanic islands and in lakes is often attributed to ecological opportunity resulting from release from competition where arrival order among lineages predicts which lineage radiates. This priority effect occurs when the lineage that arrives first expands its niche breadth and diversifies into a set of ecological specialists with associated monopolization of the resources. Later-arriving species do not experience ecological opportunity and do not radiate. While theoretical support and evi- dence from microbial experiments for priority effects are strong, empirical evidence in nature is difficult to obtain. Lake Victoria (LV) is home to an exceptional adaptive radiation of haplochromine cichlid fishes, where 20 trophic guilds and several hundred species emerged in just 15 000 years, the age of the modern lake that was preceded by a complete desiccation lasting several thousand years. However, while about 50 other lineages of teleost fish also have established populations in the lake, none of them has produced more than two species and most of them did not speciate at all. Here, we test if the ancestors of the haplochromine radiation indeed arrived prior to the most competent potential competitors, ‘tilapias’ and cyprinids, both of which have made rapid radiations in other African lakes. We assess LV sediment core intervals from just before the desiccation and just after refilling for the presence of fossil fish teeth. We show that all three lineages were present when modern LV began to fill with water. We conclude that the haplochro- mines’ extraordinary radiation unfolded in the presence of potentially competing lineages and cannot be attributed to a simple priority effect.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Science
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Muschick, Moritz and Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0962-8452

Publisher:

Royal Society of London

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

15 May 2018 09:25

Last Modified:

15 May 2018 09:25

Publisher DOI:

10.1098/rspb.2018.0462

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.116494

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/116494

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