Relaxed trait covariance in interspecific cichlid hybrids predicts morphological diversity in adaptive radiations

Selz, Oliver; Lucek, Kay Jurka Olaf; Young, Kyle Accipiter; Seehausen, Ole (2014). Relaxed trait covariance in interspecific cichlid hybrids predicts morphological diversity in adaptive radiations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 27(1), pp. 11-24. Wiley 10.1111/jeb.12283

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The process of adaptive radiation involves multiple events of speciation in short succession, associated with ecological diversification. Understanding this process requires identifying the origins of heritable phenotypic variation that allows adaptive radiation to progress. Hybridization is one source of genetic and morphological variation that may spur adaptive radiation. We experimentally explored the potential role of hybridization in facilitating the onset of adaptive radiation. We generated first- and second-generation hybrids of four species of African cichlid fish, extant relatives of the putative ancestors of the adaptive radiations of Lakes Victoria and Malawi. We com- pared patterns in hybrid morphological variation with the variation in the lake radiations. We show that significant fractions of the interspecific mor- phological variation and the major trajectories in morphospace that charac- terize whole radiations can be generated in second-generation hybrids. Furthermore, we show that covariation between traits is relaxed in second- generation hybrids, which may facilitate adaptive diversification. These results support the idea that hybridization can provide the heritable pheno- typic diversity necessary to initiate adaptive radiation.

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:

Selz, Oliver; Lucek, Kay Jurka Olaf and Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1010-061X

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

26 Mar 2014 13:50

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2017 12:36

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jeb.12283

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.45005

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/45005

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