Abstracts (first author)


Cichlid evolution in crater lakes and ecological opportunity

Author(s): Barluenga M, Magalhaes IS


Ecological opportunity fuels the generation of biodiversity. When empty habitats are colonized ecological release favors species niche expansion and eventually the divergence of taxa via intraspecific resource competition and character release. The very young cichlid fish radiations from the Nicaraguan lakes in Central America are a powerful model for the study of very rapid diversification. Multiple recently formed crater lakes exist in this area, and all of them have been independently colonized by a subset of the fish fauna from the larger and older close by Nicaraguan Great Lakes. This setting is excellent to test the idea of ecological and character release following ecological opportunity. To this end we have studied the entire fish fauna of several crater lakes and characterized the ecological role of each of the species. We investigate the consequence of the absence of some of these species in the community for the remaining species, and the ability of the latter to expand their niche, release their morphological design and ultimately speciate.

Abstracts (coauthor)

MHC Evolution in Neotropical Cichlids (Amphilophus sp.)

Author(s): Hofmann, MJ, Bracamonte SE, Eizaguirre C, Barluenga M


The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a key component of the adaptive immune system of all vertebrates. Considerable evidence has accumulated suggesting that parasite-mediated selection acting on MHC genes may ultimately lead to speciation. The Midas cichlid species complex of the crater lakes of Nicaragua is an ideal model system for the study of speciation, because it has recently colonized several isolated crater lakes where it has independently diverged into sympatric sister species. We evaluate the hypothesis that host parasite interactions might be contributing to the speciation process in this system. To this end we have characterized and sequenced the MHC class IIB of individuals from different putative species of this cichlid species complex.


Chairman: Octávio S. Paulo
Tel: 00 351 217500614 direct
Tel: 00 351 217500000 ext22359
Fax: 00 351 217500028
email: mail@eseb2013.com


XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon


Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group