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Evolution. 2012 Oct;66(10):3277-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01672.x. Epub 2012 May 14.

Partial reproductive isolation of a recently derived resident-freshwater population of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from its putative anadromous ancestor.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska 99508, USA.


We used no-choice mating trials to test for assortative mating between a newly derived resident-freshwater population (8-22 generations since founding) of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in Loberg Lake, Alaska and its putative anadromous ancestor as well as a morphologically convergent but distantly related resident-freshwater population. Partial reproductive isolation has evolved between the Loberg Lake population and its ancestor within a remarkably short time period. However, Loberg stickleback readily mate with morphologically similar, but distantly related resident-freshwater stickleback. Partial premating isolation is asymmetrical; anadromous females and smaller resident-freshwater males from Loberg Lake readily mate, but the anadromous males and smaller Loberg females do not. Our results indicate that premating isolation can begin to evolve in allopatry within a few generations after isolation as a correlated effect of evolution of reduced body size.

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