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Are Parallel Morphologies of Cave Organisms the Result of Similar Selection Pressures?

Ross Jones, David C. Culver and Thomas C. Kane
Evolution
Vol. 46, No. 2 (Apr., 1992), pp. 353-365
DOI: 10.2307/2409856
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409856
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Are Parallel Morphologies of Cave Organisms the Result of Similar Selection Pressures?
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Abstract

The amphipod Gammarus minus is present in both caves and springs, with cave populations showing elaborated (size and antennae) and reduced (eye) characters relative to spring populations. Earlier studies have shown that cave populations resulted from independent invasions of hydrologically isolated subterranean drainages and that there is genetic variation for both elaborated and reduced characters. In this study we tested the hypothesis that a similar pattern of selection on isolated cave populations is responsible for the parallel evolution of cave morphologies. We used variation in mating success and fecundity to test for the presence of directional selection on eye, antennal, and body size characters in a set of cave and spring populations during a series of seasonal cross-sectional samplings. We found significant directional selection for smaller eyes in caves and larger eyes in springs, which supports the hypothesis that selection is responsible for reduced eye size in cave populations. We also found selection for larger body and antennal size in cave populations, which is consistent with the hypothesis that parallel patterns of selection in caves are responsible for the elaboration of body and antennal size. However, we found selection for larger body and antennal size in spring populations that is not consistent with the observed divergence of spring and cave populations. We suggest that unmeasured components of viability selection could be more important in springs than in caves and may act against the selection for larger size found in spring populations.

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