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Asymmetric Isolation and the Evolution of Behaviors Influencing Dispersal: Rheotaxis of Guppies above Waterfalls

Redpath Museum and Department of Biology, McGill University, 859 Sherbrooke St. W., Montréal, QC H3A 0C4, Canada
Department of Biology, Trent University, 2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9L 1Z8, Canada
Institute of Parasitology, McGill University (Macdonald Campus), 21,111 Lakeshore Drive, Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(2), 180;
Received: 15 January 2020 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 5 February 2020 / Published: 9 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Evolution)
Populations that are asymmetrically isolated, such as above waterfalls, can sometimes export emigrants in a direction from which they do not receive immigrants, and thus provide an excellent opportunity to study the evolution of dispersal traits. We investigated the rheotaxis of guppies above barrier waterfalls in the Aripo and Turure rivers in Trinidad—the later having been introduced in 1957 from a below-waterfall population in another drainage. We predicted that, as a result of strong selection against downstream emigration, both of these above-waterfall populations should show strong positive rheotaxis. Matching these expectations, both populations expressed high levels of positive rheotaxis, possibly reflecting contemporary (rapid) evolution in the introduced Turure population. However, the two populations used different behaviors to achieve the same performance of strong positive rheotaxis, as has been predicted in the case of multiple potential evolutionary solutions to the same functional challenge (i.e., “many-to-one mapping”). By contrast, we did not find any difference in rheotactic behavior above versus below waterfalls on a small scale within either river, suggesting constraints on adaptive divergence on such scales. View Full-Text
Keywords: rheotaxic behavior; introduced populations; dispersal; guppies; waterfalls rheotaxic behavior; introduced populations; dispersal; guppies; waterfalls
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Blondel, L.; Klemet-N’Guessan, S.; Scott, M.E.; Hendry, A.P. Asymmetric Isolation and the Evolution of Behaviors Influencing Dispersal: Rheotaxis of Guppies above Waterfalls. Genes 2020, 11, 180.

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