Non-parallel morphological divergence following colonization of a new host plant

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Adaptation to new ecological niches is known to spur population diversification and may lead to speciation if gene flow is ceased. While adaptation to the same ecological niche is expected to be parallel, it is more difficult to predict whether selection against maladaptive hybridization in secondary sympatry results in parallel divergence also in traits that are not directly related to the ecological niches. Such parallelisms in response to selection for reproductive isolation can be identified through estimating parallelism in reproductive character displacement across different zones of secondary contact. Here, we use a host shift in the phytophagous peacock fly Tephritis conura, with both host races represented in two geographically separate areas East and West of the Baltic Sea to investigate convergence in morphological adaptations. We asked (i) if there are consistent morphological adaptations to a host plant shift and (ii) if the response to secondary sympatry with the alternate host race is parallel across contact zones. We found surprisingly low and variable, albeit significant, divergence between host races. Only one trait, the length of the female ovipositor, which serves an important function in the interaction with the hosts, was consistently different between host races. Instead, co-existence with the other host race significantly affected the degree of morphological divergence, but the divergence was largely driven by different traits in different contact zones. Thus, local stochastic fixation or reinforcement could generate trait divergence, and additional evidence is needed to conclude whether divergence is locally adaptive.

Sidor (från-till)859-877
TidskriftEvolutionary Ecology
StatusPublished - 2022

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Evolutionsbiologi


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