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Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 11–26 | Cite as

Does Breeding Site Fidelity Drive Phenotypic and Genetic Sub-Structuring of a Population of Arctic Charr?

  • Colin E. Adams
  • Deborah J. Hamilton
  • Ian Mccarthy
  • Alastair J. Wilson
  • Alan Grant
  • Gavin Alexander
  • Susan Waldron
  • Sigurdur S. Snorasson
  • Moira M. Ferguson
  • Skuli Skúlason
Research article

Abstract

There is now increasing acceptance that divergence of phenotypic traits, and the genetic structuring that underlie such divergence, can occur in sympatry. Here we report the serendipitous discovery of a sympatric polymorphism in the upper Forth catchment, Scotland, in a species for which high levels of phenotypic variation have been reported previously, the Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus. Attempting to determine the proximate mechanisms through which this pattern of phenotypic variation is maintained, we examine the use of the available feeding resource and the genotypic and phenotypic structure of charr in this system. We show clear differences in head morphology between charr from three very closely connected lakes with no barrier to movement (Lochs Doine, Voil and Lubnaig) and also differences in muscle stable isotope signatures and in stomach contents. There were significant differences at 6 microsatelite loci (between Lubnaig and the other two lochs) and very low estimates of effective migration between populations. We conclude that, despite living in effective sympatry, strong genetic and phenotypic sub-structuring is likely maintained by very high levels of site fidelity, especially during spawning, resulting in functional allopatric divergence of phenotype.

Keywords

divergence evolution gene-flow polymorphism 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin E. Adams
    • 1
  • Deborah J. Hamilton
    • 1
  • Ian Mccarthy
    • 1
  • Alastair J. Wilson
    • 2
  • Alan Grant
    • 1
  • Gavin Alexander
    • 1
  • Susan Waldron
    • 3
  • Sigurdur S. Snorasson
    • 4
  • Moira M. Ferguson
    • 2
  • Skuli Skúlason
    • 5
  1. 1.University Field Station, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of GlasgowLoch Lomond, RowardennanScotland
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  3. 3.Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Scottish Enterprise Technology ParkEast KilbrideScotland
  4. 4.Institute of BiologyUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland
  5. 5.Holar Agricultural CollegeHolar HjaltadalurIceland

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