Sexual selection and speciation: mechanisms in Lake Victoria cichlid fish

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Sexual selection and speciation: mechanisms in Lake Victoria cichlid fish

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Sexual selection and speciation: mechanisms in Lake Victoria cichlid fish
Author: Maan, Martine Elisabeth
Publisher: Institute of Biology, Department of Animal Ecology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2006-05-11
Keywords: Evolution
Haplochromine cichlid fish
Lake Victoria
Mate choice
Nuptial coloration
Parasite-mediated sexual selection
Sensory drive
Abstract: The several hundred species of cichlid fish endemic to Lake Victoria (East-Africa) are textbook examples of explosive speciation. This thesis evaluates the hypothesis that sexual selection by female mate choice has contributed to this process of divergence, by investigating the mechanisms that drive the evolution and divergence of mating preferences for colour patterns. I studied two representative model systems, the highly polymorphic species Neochromis omnicaeruleus and the species pair Pundamilia nyererei and P. pundamilia. I used observational and experimental approaches in both laboratory and field. My work indicates that the interaction between sexual selection and habitat heterogeneity, in terms of photic environment and parasite exposure, can promote population divergence in male nuptial coloration and female preferences. In contrast, predation pressure and water turbidity may constrain the evolution and persistence of conspicuously coloured morphs and species.
Description: Promotores: J.J.M. van Alphen, O.Seehausen
With Summary in Dutch
Printed by Ipskamp Print Partners, Enschede
Faculty: Faculteit der Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
Citation: Maan, M.E., 2006, Doctoral Thesis, Leiden University
ISBN: 9789090205236
Sponsor: Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research (NWO-WOTRO, grant no. 82-243)

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