Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2019

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster E3

The puzzled Arctic charr: When a mishmash of hybrid traits promotes adaptive divergence

Höfundar / Authors: Quentin J.-B. HORTA-LACUEVA (1), David BENHAÏM (2), Camille A.-L. LEBLANC (2), Sigurður S. SNORRASON (1), Kalina H. KAPRALOVA (1)

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1 Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland. Askja - Náttúrufræðihús Sturlugötu 7,101 Reykjavík, Iceland. 2 Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology, University of Hólar. 551 Sauðárkrókur, Iceland.

Kynnir / Presenter: Quentin Horta-Lacueva

Selection against hybrids is a well-recognized mechanism through which populations facing contrasting environments diverge into different species. Studies on hybrid fitness usually focus on one trait at a time (e.g growth, morphology) but it has long been established from quantitative genetics that traits are not independent from one another; which can lead to counterintuitive interpretations on the evolution of populations. Here we explore how interactions between traits emerge through development, thereby influencing the ability of populations to diverge into different ecological niches and preventing hybrids from thriving in these environments. We study two morphs of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) from lake Thingvallavatn, the small benthic and the planktivorous charr, which are adapting to two distinct feeding environments (benthic vs. limnetic) while sharing the same spawning grounds. In a common garden setup, we raised the progeny from each morph and their hybrids, and measured an extensive set of fitness traits related to life-history, morphology and behaviour, both during embryonic development and during the first months of their juvenile phase. Our results indicate that traits of different nature can affect one another in a way that could lead to different adaptive phenotypes. The particular trait covariances observed in hybrids can thus result in suboptimal combination of traits which will ultimately lead to their reduced fitness in the wild.