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Intraspecific vicariant history and the evolution of adaptive morphological diversity in a fish species (Osmerus mordax)
Barrette, M.-F.; Daigle, G.; Dodson, J.J. (2009). Intraspecific vicariant history and the evolution of adaptive morphological diversity in a fish species (Osmerus mordax). Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 97(1): 140-151
In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0024-4066, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Barrette, M.-F.
  • Daigle, G.
  • Dodson, J.J.

    Vicariant geographic isolation and resource partitioning have long been independently identified as processes contributing to the morphological divergence of closely-related species. However, little is known about the extent to which vicariant history influences the adaptive ecological divergence associated with resource partitioning and trophic specialization within species. The present study thus quantified the contribution of vicariant historical genetic divergence to the adaptive contemporary morphological divergence of intraspecific feeding specialists in the Rainbow smelt (Pisces: Osmerus mordax). This species is characterized by the polyphyletic origin of two lacustrine feeding specialists originating in two intraspecific lineages associated with independent glacial refuges. The historical genetic segregation was initiated approximately 350 000 years ago, whereas the lacustrine trophic segregation arose within the past 10 000 years. Wild caught lacustrine smelt populations were grouped a priori based on known historical genetic identities (Acadian and Atlantic mitochondrial DNA clades) and contemporary feeding specializations (microphageous and macrophageous morphotypes). The present study demonstrated that independent suites of correlated morphological traits are associated with either vicariant history or contemporary feeding specializations. Second, functionally-similar feeding specialists exhibit distinct morphologies resulting largely from vicariant historical processes. Although, the evolutionary processes producing historical phenotypes remains unknown, the results obtained demonstrate how adaptive radiation associated with ecological resource partitioning and feeding specializations can be strongly influenced by intraspecific phenotypic diversification resulting from relatively recent vicariant histories.

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