Differential selection pressures result in a rapid divergence of donor and refuge populations of a high conservation value freshwater fish Coregonus lavaretus (L.)

Koene, J. P., Crotti, M., Elmer, K. R. and Adams, C. E. (2019) Differential selection pressures result in a rapid divergence of donor and refuge populations of a high conservation value freshwater fish Coregonus lavaretus (L.). Evolutionary Ecology, 33(4), pp. 533-548. (doi: 10.1007/s10682-019-09995-y)

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Abstract

As a conservation measure to protect European whitefish in Scotland, a translocated population was established in Loch Sloy from Loch Lomond stock between 1988 and 1990. Previous study has assumed that current morphological differences between adults from the donor and refuge lakes have arisen through phenotypic plasticity. The present study compared the morphologies of whitefish at three life stages: alevins and fry raised in a common garden, and wild-caught adults. Alevins were clearly distinguishable by their lake of origin. Loch Sloy alevins were distinguishable also by family, although this was not the case for Loch Lomond. Differential allometric trajectories facilitated the persistence of morphological differences associated with lake of origin through the fry stage into adulthood. Overall, the whitefish from Loch Lomond displayed morphologies associated with pelagic feeders, while the more robust heads and ventrally positioned snouts of the Loch Sloy whitefish conformed to expectations for more benthic feeding habits. That differences between populations were present not only in wild adults, but also in alevins and fry from a common garden setup, strongly suggests that the divergence between populations is due to inheritance mechanisms, rather than differential plastic responses, and questions the effectiveness of translocation as a conservation measure.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Crotti, Mr Marco and Koene, Peter and Elmer, Dr Kathryn and Adams, Professor Colin
Authors: Koene, J. P., Crotti, M., Elmer, K. R., and Adams, C. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Evolutionary Ecology
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0269-7653
ISSN (Online):1573-8477
Published Online:15 June 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Evolutionary Ecology 33(4):533-548
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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