Visual adaptation and microhabitat choice in Lake Victoria cichlid fish

Mameri, Daniel; van Kammen, Corina; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Seehausen, Ole; Maan, Martine E. (2019). Visual adaptation and microhabitat choice in Lake Victoria cichlid fish. Royal Society Open Science, 6(3), p. 181876. The Royal Society Publishing 10.1098/rsos.181876

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When different genotypes choose different habitats to better match their phenotypes, genetic differentiation within a population may be promoted. Mating within those habitats may subsequently contribute to reproductive isolation. In cichlid fish, visual adaptation to alternative visual environments is hypothesized to contribute to speciation. Here, we investigated whether variation in visual sensitivity causes different visual habitat preferences, using two closely related cichlid species that occur at different but overlapping water depths in Lake Victoria and that differ in visual perception (Pundamilia spp.). In addition to species differences, we explored potential effects of visual plasticity, by rearing fish in two different light conditions: broad-spectrum (mimicking shallow water) and red-shifted (mimicking deeper waters). Contrary to expectations, fish did not prefer the light environment that mimicked their typical natural habitat. Instead, we found an overall preference for the broad-spectrum environment. We also found a transient influence of the rearing condition, indicating that the assessment of microhabitat preference requires repeated testing to control for familiarity effects. Together, our results show that cichlid fish exert visual habitat preference but do not support straightforward visual habitat matching.

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:

Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

2054-5703

Publisher:

The Royal Society Publishing

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

27 Jun 2019 17:19

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 07:39

Publisher DOI:

10.1098/rsos.181876

PubMed ID:

31032041

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.129964

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/129964

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