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Data from: Genomic insights into the vulnerability of sympatric whitefish species flocks

Cite this dataset

Feulner, Philine G.D.; Seehausen, Ole (2018). Data from: Genomic insights into the vulnerability of sympatric whitefish species flocks [Dataset]. Dryad.


The erosion of habitat heterogeneity can reduce species diversity directly but can also lead to the loss of distinctiveness of sympatric species through speciation reversal. We know little about changes in genomic differentiation during the early stages of these processes, which can be mediated by anthropogenic perturbation. Here, we analyse three sympatric whitefish species (Coregonus spp) sampled across two neighbouring and connected Swiss pre-alpine lakes, which have been differentially affected by anthropogenic eutrophication. Our data set comprises 16,173 loci genotyped across 138 whitefish using restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq). Our analysis suggests that in each of the two lakes the population of a different, but ecologically similar, whitefish species declined following a recent period of eutrophication. Genomic signatures consistent with hybridisation are more pronounced in the more severely impacted lake. Comparisons between sympatric pairs of whitefish species with contrasting ecology, where one is shallow benthic and the other one more profundal pelagic, reveal genomic differentiation that is largely correlated along the genome, while differentiation is uncorrelated between pairs of allopatric provenance with similar ecology. We identify four genomic loci that provide evidence of parallel divergent adaptation between the shallow benthic species and the two different more profundal species. Functional annotations available for two of those loci are consistent with divergent ecological adaptation. Our genomic analysis indicates the action of divergent natural selection between sympatric whitefish species in pre-alpine lakes and reveals the vulnerability of these species to anthropogenic alterations of the environment and associated adaptive landscape.

Usage notes


Lakes Zurich and Walen (Switzerland)