The early stages of intraspecific diversity are important for the evolution of diversification and speciation. Early stages of diversification can be seen in individual specialization, where individuals consume only a portion of the diet of the population as a whole, and how such specialization is related to phenotypic diversity within populations. Here, we study the strength of the relationship between morphological and dietary distances among individuals in eighteen populations of Icelandic small benthic charr. We furthermore studied if the strength of the relationship could be related to variation in local ecological factors these populations inhabit. In all the populations studied, there was a clear relationship between morphological and dietary distances, indicating that fish that had similar morphology were at the same time-consuming similar food items. Our findings show a systematic variation in the relationship between morphology and diet at early stages of diversification in a highly specialized small benthic charr morph. The results show the importance of fine scale comparisons within populations and furthermore the value that systematic comparisons among populations under parallel evolution can contribute toward our increased understanding of evolutionary and ecological processes.
|Journal||Ecology and Evolution|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Jan 2018|
- Habitat type
- Pairwise diet similarity
- Pairwise Procustes distances
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