Morphological variation in the freshwater blenny Salaria fluviatilis from Corsican rivers: adaptive divergence, phenotypic plasticity or both?

Authors

  • P. Magnan,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre de recherche sur les interactions bassins versants – écosystèmes aquatiques (RIVE), Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivières, QC, G9A 5H7 Canada
    • Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel.: +1 819 376 5011 ext. 3375; email: Pierre.Magnan@uqtr.ca

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  • R. Proulx,

    1. Centre de recherche sur les interactions bassins versants – écosystèmes aquatiques (RIVE), Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivières, QC, G9A 5H7 Canada
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  • P. Berrebi,

    1. Institut des Sciences de l'Évolution, UMR 5554 UM2-CNRS-IRD, Université Montpellier II, CC065, place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France
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  • J. Blondel,

    1. Centre d'Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive, CNRS Montpellier, 34293 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France
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  • P. Perret,

    1. Centre d'Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive, CNRS Montpellier, 34293 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France
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  • B. Roché

    1. Service de l'eau et des milieux aquatiques, Direction régionale de l'environnement de Corse, 20600 Bastia, France
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    • Deceased. We dedicate this paper to our late colleague.


Abstract

The first goal of this study was to determine whether morphological variation in the freshwater blenny Salaria fluviatilis results in spatially structured populations distributed around Corsica, France, which would suggest genetically differentiated populations through reproductive isolation by distance. The second goal was to determine whether some morphological traits are related to water velocity, one of the most contrasting habitat characteristics in these rivers, which would suggest an adaptation to local conditions. The results showed that the morphology of S. fluviatilis differed among the three main geographic areas studied in Corsica and that geographically distant populations of S. fluviatilis were less similar morphologically and genetically than close ones. The results also indicated that the morphological differences among populations conformed to functional expectations. Overall, the results suggest that the morphological variation of S. fluviatilis from Corsican rivers is an adaptive response to water velocity and that these populations are in a process of reproductive isolation by distance.

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