Predation drives rapid sympatric divergence in whitefish
CEES Extra Seminar by Göran Englund (NB: New time)
I will present data from 351 Scandinavian lakes showing that the presence of pike (Esox lucius), induces dwarfs, giants or divergence into both ecotypes in populations of whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) depending on lake characteristics. I also use information about 76 whitefish introductions made between year 1784 and 2009 to demonstrate that less than 100 years are required for morphologically and genetically distinct ecotypes to develop. This shows that sympatric evolutionary divergence can be considerably faster than currently recognized. It also suggests the whitefish system can be used to study “speciation in action”, allowing us, for the first time, to construct a time line describing the ecological and evolutionary processes that leads to sympatric speciation.
Professor in Animal Ecology
Ecology and Environmental Science