Publication

Mechanisms of species divergence through visual adaptation and sexual selection: Perspectives from a cichlid model system

Maan, M. E. & Seehausen, O. Jun-2010 In : Current Zoology. 56, 3, p. 285-299 15 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewLiterature review

The theory of ecological speciation suggests that assortative mating evolves most easily when mating preferences are directly linked to ecological traits that are subject to divergent selection. Sensory adaptation can play a major role in this process, because selective mating is often mediated by sexual signals: bright colours, complex song, pheromone blends and so on. When divergent sensory adaptation affects the perception of such signals, mating patterns may change as an immediate consequence. Alternatively, mating preferences can diverge as a result of indirect effects: assortative mating may be promoted by selection against intermediate phenotypes that are maladapted to their (sensory) environment. For Lake Victoria cichlids, the visual environment constitutes an important selective force that is heterogeneous across geographical and water depth gradients. We investigate the direct and indirect effects of this heterogeneity on the evolution of female preferences for alternative male nuptial colours (red and blue) in the genus Pundamilia. Here, we review the current evidence for divergent sensory drive in this system, extract general principles, and discuss future perspectives [Current Zoology 56(3): 285-299, 2010].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-299
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Zoology
Volume56
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun-2010
Externally publishedYes

    Keywords

  • Cichlid, Sexual selection, Species divergence, Visual adaptation, LAKE VICTORIA CICHLIDS, FEMALE MATING PREFERENCE, TUNING SPECTRAL SENSITIVITY, MALE-MALE COMPETITION, SYMPATRIC SPECIATION, MATE CHOICE, ECOLOGICAL SPECIATION, MALE COLORATION, REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION, INCIPIENT SPECIATION

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