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Data from: Evolution of body shape in sympatric versus non-sympatric Tropheus populations of Lake Tanganyika

Citation

Kerschbaumer, Michaela; Mitteroecker, Philipp; Sturmbauer, Christian (2013), Data from: Evolution of body shape in sympatric versus non-sympatric Tropheus populations of Lake Tanganyika, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.fc02f

Abstract

Allopatric speciation often yields ecologically equivalent sister species, so that their secondary admixis enforces competition. The shores of Lake Tanganyika harbor about 120 distinct populations of the cichlid genus Tropheus, but only some are sympatric. When alone, Tropheus occupies a relatively broad depth zone, but in sympatry, fish segregate by depth. To assess the effects of competition, we studied the partial co-occurrence of Tropheus moorii ‘Kaiser’ and ‘Kirschfleck’ with Tropheus polli. A previous study demonstrated via standardized breeding experiments that some observed differences between Tropheus ‘Kaiser’ living alone and in sympatry with T. polli have a genetic basis despite large-scale phenotypic plasticity. Using geometric morphometrics and neutral genetic markers, we now investigated whether sympatric populations differ consistently in body shape from populations living alone and if the differences are adaptive. We found significant differences in mean shape between non-sympatric and sympatric populations, whereas all sympatric populations of both color morphs clustered together in shape space. Sympatric populations had a relatively smaller head, smaller eyes and a more anterior insertion of the pectoral fin than non-sympatric populations. Genetically, however, non-sympatric and sympatric ‘Kaiser’ populations clustered together to the exclusion of ‘Kirschfleck’. Genetic distances, but not morphological distances, were correlated with geographic distances. Within- and between-population covariance matrices for T. moorii populations deviated from proportionality. It is thus likely that natural selection acts on both phenotypic plasticity and heritable traits and that both factors contribute to the observed shape differences. The consistency of the pattern in five populations suggests ecological character displacement.

Usage Notes

Location

Lake Tanganyika