Characterizing neutral and adaptive genomic differentiation in a changing climate: The most northerly freshwater fish as a model

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  • Arctic freshwater ecosystems have been profoundly affected by climate change. Given that the Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) is often the only fish species inhabiting these ecosystems, it represents a valuable model for studying the impacts of climate change on species life‐history diversity and adaptability. Using a genotyping‐by‐se‐ quencing approach, we identified 5,976 neutral single nucleotide polymorphisms and found evidence for reduced gene flow between allopatric morphs from two high Arctic lakes, Linne ́vatn (Anadromous, Normal, and Dwarf) and Ellasjøen (Littoral and Pelagic). Within each lake, the degree of genetic differentiation ranged from low (Pelagic vs. Littoral) to moderate (Anadromous and Normal vs. Dwarf). We identified 17 highly diagnostic, putatively adaptive SNPs that differentiated the allopatric morphs. Although we found no evidence for adaptive differences between morphs within Ellasjøen, we found evidence for moderate (Anadromous vs. Normal) to high genetic differentiation (Anadromous and Normal vs. Dwarf) among morphs within Linne ́vatn based on two adaptive loci. As these freshwater ecosystems become more produc‐ tive, the frequency of sympatric morphs in Ellasjøen will likely shift based on foraging opportunities, whereas the propensity to migrate may decrease in Linne ́vatn, in‐ creasing the frequency of the Normal morph. The Dwarf charr was the most geneti‐ cally distinct group. Identifying the biological basis for small body size should elucidate the potential for increased growth and subsequent interbreeding with sym‐ patric morphs. Overall, neutral and adaptive genomic differentiation between al‐ lopatric and some sympatric morphs suggests that the response of Arctic charr to climate change will be variable across freshwater ecosystems.
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  • O’Malley KG, Vaux F, Black AN (2019) Characterizing neutral and adaptive genomic differentiation in a changing climate: the most northerly freshwater fish as a model. Ecology and Evolution, 9, 2004-2017. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4891
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  • 9
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  • 4
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