Rapid niche expansion by selection on functional genomic variation after ecosystem recovery

Jacobs, A. , Carruthers, M., Eckmann, R., Yohannes, E., Adams, C. E. , Behrmann-Godel, J. and Elmer, K. R. (2019) Rapid niche expansion by selection on functional genomic variation after ecosystem recovery. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 3(1), pp. 77-86. (doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0742-9) (PMID:30510178)

171335.pdf - Accepted Version



It is well recognized that environmental degradation caused by human activities can result in dramatic losses of species and diversity. However, comparatively little is known about the ability of biodiversity to re-emerge following ecosystem recovery. Here, we show that a European whitefish subspecies, the gangfisch Coregonus lavaretus macrophthalmus, rapidly increased its ecologically functional diversity following the restoration of Lake Constance after anthropogenic eutrophication. In fewer than ten generations, gangfisch evolved a greater range of gill raker numbers (GRNs) to utilize a broader ecological niche. A sparse genetic architecture underlies this variation in GRN. Several co-expressed gene modules and genes showing signals of positive selection were associated with GRN and body shape. These were enriched for biological pathways related to trophic niche expansion in fishes. Our findings demonstrate the potential of functional diversity to expand following habitat restoration, given a fortuitous combination of genetic architecture, genetic diversity and selection.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carruthers, Madeleine and Jacobs, Mr Arne and Elmer, Professor Kathryn and Adams, Professor Colin
Authors: Jacobs, A., Carruthers, M., Eckmann, R., Yohannes, E., Adams, C. E., Behrmann-Godel, J., and Elmer, K. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Nature Ecology and Evolution
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2397-334X
Published Online:03 December 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Ecology and Evolution 3:77-86
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
612331GEN ECOL ADAPT: Adaptation genomics of trophic polymorphismKathryn ElmerEuropean Commission (EC)321999RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
588759BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 2012George BaillieBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J013854/1MVLS COLLEGE SENIOR MANAGEMENT