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Data from: Ecological opportunity shapes a large Arctic charr species radiation

Cite this dataset

Doenz, Carmela et al. (2019). Data from: Ecological opportunity shapes a large Arctic charr species radiation [Dataset]. Dryad.


Ecological opportunity is considered a crucial factor for adaptive radiation. Here, we combine genetic, morphological and ecological data to assess species and ecomorphological diversity of Artic charr in six lakes of a catchment in southernmost Greenland, harbouring only charr and stickleback. Because the diversity of habitats and resources increases with lake size, we predict a positive association between lake size and the extent of ecomorphological diversity. The largest lake of the catchment harbours the largest Arctic charr assemblage known today. It consists of six genetically differentiated species belonging to five ecomorphs (anadromous, littoral benthic, profundal dwarf, planktivorous, piscivorous), of which the latter comprises two ecomorphologically extremely similar species. Lakes of intermediate size contain two ecomorphologically and genetically distinct species. Small lakes harbour one genetically homogenous, yet sometimes ecomorphologically variable population. Supporting our prediction, lake size is positively correlated with the extent of ecomorphological specialization towards profundal, pelagic and piscivorous lifestyle. Furthermore, assemblage-wide morphospace increases sharply when more than one genetic cluster is present. Our data suggest that ecological opportunity and speciation jointly determine phenotypic expansion in this charr radiation.

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Southern Greenland