The species flocks of East African cichlid fishes: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and population genetics

  title={The species flocks of East African cichlid fishes: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and population genetics},
  author={Walter Salzburger and Axel Meyer},
With more than 3,000 species, the fish family Cichlidae is one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. Cichlids occur in southern and central America, Africa, Madagascar, and India. The hotspot of their biodiversity is East Africa, where they form adaptive radiations composed of hundreds of endemic species in several lakes of various sizes and ages. The unparalleled species richness of East African cichlids has been something of a conundrum for evolutionary biologists and ecologists… 
The Lake Tanganyika cichlid species assemblage: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics
An account of the taxonomy and phylogeny of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid species assemblage, its relationship to the African cichLid fauna, key factors leading to the astonishing diversity and recently proposed alternative age estimates are presented.
Patterns and Processes of Speciation in Ancient Lakes
An account of the taxonomy and phylogeny of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid species assemblage, its relationship to the African cICHlid fauna, key factors leading to the astonishing diversity and recently proposed alternative age estimates are presented.
Explosive Speciation and Adaptive Radiation of East African Cichlid Fishes
It is demonstrated that cichlid diversification has been influenced by a complex combination of micro-allopatry, natural and sexual selection, facilitated by genetic mechanisms, and the current threats are not (yet) caused by habitat destruction and pollution but by overharvesting.
Genetic Structure of Pelagic and Littoral Cichlid Fishes from Lake Victoria
The results suggest that initial groupings, some of which appear to have been related to habitat differences, as well as divergence between species within groups took place among the cichlid species of Lake Victoria.
Mitochondrial phylogeny and phylogeography of East African squeaker catfishes (Siluriformes: Synodontis)
It is concluded that the ancestral lineage of today's East African squeaker catfish fauna has colonized the area before the Great Lakes have formed and diversified rapidly into at least six lineages that inhabit lakes and rivers in East Africa.
The Adaptive Radiation of Cichlid Fish in Lake Tanganyika: A Morphological Perspective
In the present review, morphological studies that relate to the adaptive radiation of Lake Tanganyika's cichlids are summarized and highlight their importance for understanding the process of adaptive radiation.
African cichlid fish: a model system in adaptive radiation research
  • O. Seehausen
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2006
The evidence suggests that speciation rate declines through time as niches get filled up during adaptive radiation, but the data suggest that the propensity to radiate within lakes is a derived property that evolved during the evolutionary history of some African cichlids, and does not coincide with the appearance of proposed key innovations in morphology and life history.
Similar levels of diversity and population Structure in superflock and non-superflock cichlid fishes from Lake Victoria, Africa
It is suggested that the level of contemporary gene flow at fine spatial scales may not be related to the historical rate of speciation, and spatial-genetic autocorrelation among individuals may be very different between these two cichlid species with different ecologies.
Out of Tanganyika: Genesis, explosive speciation, key-innovations and phylogeography of the haplochromine cichlid fishes
The most extensive phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis so far that includes about 100 species and is based on about 2,000 bp of the mitochondrial DNA concludes that Lake Tanganyika is the geographic and genetic cradle of all haplochromine lineages.


How many species of cichlid fishes are there in African lakes?
This review presents recent findings on the discoveries of new species and species flocks and critically appraises the relevant evidence on species richness from recent studies of polymorphism and assortative mating, generally using behavioural and molecular methods.
Phylogeny of a rapidly evolving clade: the cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi, East Africa.
It is demonstrated that adaptive divergence in trophic morphology played an important role during the early history of the lake, which suggests that other forces are responsible for the continued speciation of these fishes.
Genetic divergence, speciation and morphological stasis in a lineage of African cichlid fishes
A case of surprisingly large genetic divergence among populations of the endemic Tropheus lineage of Lake Tanganyika, a lineage of six species that contains twice as much genetic variation as the entire morphologically highly diverse cichlid assemblage of Lake Malawi and six times more variation than the Lake Victoria species flock.
Phylogeny of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid species flock and its relationship to the Central and East African haplochromine cichlid fish faunas.
These findings contradict the current hypothesis that ancestral riverine haplochromines colonized Lake Tanganyika to give rise to at least part of its spectacular endemic cichlid species assemblage and instead contradict the early phases of the Tanganyikan radiation, which affected Central and East African rivers and lakes.
Molecular systematics and radiation of the haplochromine cichlids (Teleostei: Perciformes) of Lake Malawi
The mbuna group is generally thought to be a monophyletic assemblage, but results suggest that it is actually paraphy­ letic, and in contrast to the high morphological diversity among Malawi haplochro­ mine species, mtDNA sequence divergence was found to be remarkably low.
Divergent selection during speciation of Lake Malawi cichlid fishes inferred from parallel radiations in nuptial coloration
The genetic and phylogenetic data were used to test the divergent selection scenario against colonization, character displacement, and hybridization scenarios that could also explain diverse communities, and reconstructed the first larger species level phylogeny for the most diverse group of Lake Malawi cichlids.
Similar morphologies of cichlid fish in Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi are due to convergence.
This work sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial DNA control region from six pairs of morphologically similar taxa from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika to indicate a separate origin of these morphologies in the two lakes, and suggests that the Tanganyikan radiation is relatively old.
Explosive speciation in cichlid fishes of the African Great Lakes: a dynamic model of adaptive radiation
A generalized model of cichlid adaptive radiation is derived, defined by the most influential habitat characteristics and interactions among members of the species community at each phase, in an attempt to provide an explicit hypothesis for a dynamic evolutionary process.
Assortative mating among rock‐dwelling cichlid fishes supports high estimates of species richness from Lake Malawi
All taxa showed high levels of allelic diversity providing evidence that genetic bottlenecking may have been of limited importance in the speciation process, and assortative mating among taxa differing only in male colouration is supportive of theories that speciation in these fishes has been driven by sexual selection by female choice.