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Ecological speciation in European whitefish is driven by a large-gaped predator
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Business Administration, Technology, and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå SE-971 87,Sweden; Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, SLU, Umeå SE-901 83, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1670-6254
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
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2020 (English)In: Evolution Letters, E-ISSN 2056-3744, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 243-256Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Lake-dwelling fish that form species pairs/flocks characterized by body size divergence are important model systems for speciation research. Although several sources of divergent selection have been identified in these systems, their importance for driving the speciation process remains elusive. A major problem is that in retrospect, we cannot distinguish selection pressures that initiated divergence from those acting later in the process. To address this issue, we studied the initial stages of speciation in European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) using data from 358 populations of varying age (26-10,000 years). We find that whitefish speciation is driven by a large-growing predator, the northern pike (Esox lucius). Pike initiates divergence by causing a largely plastic differentiation into benthic giants and pelagic dwarfs: ecotypes that will subsequently develop partial reproductive isolation and heritable differences in gill raker number. Using an eco-evolutionary model, we demonstrate how pike's habitat specificity and large gape size are critical for imposing a between-habitat trade-off, causing prey to mature in a safer place or at a safer size. Thereby, we propose a novel mechanism for how predators may cause dwarf/giant speciation in lake-dwelling fish species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2020. Vol. 4, no 3, p. 243-256
Keywords [en]
Body size, ecological speciation, gape size, predator, trade-off
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-171947DOI: 10.1002/evl3.167ISI: 000533252100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85096179796OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-171947DiVA, id: diva2:1443568
Available from: 2020-06-18 Created: 2020-06-18 Last updated: 2023-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Öhlund, GunnarBodin, MatsNilsson, Karin A.Mobley, Kenyon B.Hudson, Alan G.Peedu, MikaelBrännström, ÅkeBartels, PiaHein, CatherineJohansson, PetterEnglund, Göran

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Öhlund, GunnarBodin, MatsNilsson, Karin A.Mobley, Kenyon B.Hudson, Alan G.Peedu, MikaelBrännström, ÅkeBartels, PiaHein, CatherineJohansson, PetterEnglund, Göran
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Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencesDepartment of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics
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Evolution Letters
Evolutionary Biology

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