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LIFE UNDER NEGLIGIBLE PREDATION - NINE-SPINED STICKLEBACK (PUNGITIUS PUNGITIUS) ADAPTATIONS IN ISOLATED PONDS
Fecha de producción:
Nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungtitius) has a circumpolar distribution, and can successfully persist in a bewildering array of habitats from coastal marine areas through large lakes or rives systems to small isolated ponds.
By comparing pond populations (nine-spined stickleback is often the only fish species) to lake and marine populations (nine-spined stickleback is a member of a diverse fish community including predators and competitors), I could study how sticklebacks adapted to varying levels of predation and interspecific competition.
In general, I found that a ‘pond ecomorph’ emerged in several geographically and genetically isolated ponds throughout Fennoscandia. Sticklebacks in ponds evolved into aggressive and bold giants with extended longevity, delayed maturation and reduced or lost body armour. These results suggest that in the absence of significant predation risk and interspecific competition, a phenotype superior in intraspecific competition is favoured.
In my talk, I will first overview the basic patterns of population divergence in fitness-related traits and in their phenotypic plasticity, and then present the quantitative genetic and functional genomic background of some key morphological, life-history and behavioural traits.