Rapid sympatric ecological differentiation of crater lake cichlid fishes within historic times

Kathryn R Elmer, Topi K Lehtonen, Andreas F Kautt, Chris Harrod, Axel Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

After a volcano erupts, a lake may form in the cooled crater and become an isolated aquatic ecosystem. This makes fishes in crater lakes informative for understanding sympatric evolution and ecological diversification in barren environments. From a geological and limnological perspective, such research offers insight about the process of crater lake ecosystem establishment and speciation. In the present study we use genetic and coalescence approaches to infer the colonization history of Midas cichlid fishes (Amphilophus cf. citrinellus) that inhabit a very young crater lake in Nicaragua-the ca. 1800 year-old Lake Apoyeque. This lake holds two sympatric, endemic morphs of Midas cichlid: one with large, hypertrophied lips (similar to 20 of the total population) and another with thin lips. Here we test the associated ecological, morphological and genetic diversification of these two morphs and their potential to represent incipient speciation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 15
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Biology
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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