The origin and future of an endangered crater lake endemic; phylogeography and ecology of Oreochromis hunteri and its invasive relatives

Moser, Florian Nicolo; van Rijssel, Jacobus Cornelis; Ngatunga, Benjamin; Mwaiko, Salome; Seehausen, Ole (2018). The origin and future of an endangered crater lake endemic; phylogeography and ecology of Oreochromis hunteri and its invasive relatives. Hydrobiologia, 832(1), pp. 283-296. Springer Netherlands 10.1007/s10750-018-3780-z

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Cichlids of the genus Oreochromis (‘‘Tilapias’’) are intensively used in aquaculture around the world. In many cases, when ‘‘Tilapia’’ were introduced for economic reasons to catchments that were home to other, often endemic, Oreochromis species, the loss of native species followed. Oreochromis hunteri is an endemic species of Crater Lake Chala on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and is part of a small species flock in the upper Pangani drainage system of Tanzania. We identified three native and three invasive Oreochromis species in the region. Reconstructing their phylogeography, we found that O. hunteri is closely related to, but distinct from the other members of the upper Pangani flock. However, we found a second, genetically and phenotypically distinct Oreochromis species in Lake Chala whose origin we cannot fully resolve. Our ecological and ecomorphological investigations revealed that the endemic O. hunteri is currently rare in the lake, outnumbered by each of three invasive cichlid species. It is mitochondrially, phenotypically and trophically distinct from all others. The occurrence of the formerly abundant O. hunteri in such small numbers, its narrow habitat restriction and its limited morphological variability suggest recent population decline and loss of niche breadth in this critically endangered endemic cichlid species.

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 > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Moser, Florian Nicolo; van Rijssel, Jacobus Cornelis and Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0018-8158

Publisher:

Springer Netherlands

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

15 Oct 2018 15:53

Last Modified:

24 Feb 2019 02:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10750-018-3780-z

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.120465

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/120465

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