Spectral analysis helps explain speciation

spectral analysis

Pundamilia nyererei. Photo by Robert De Leon

The vast diversity of cichlid species, especially within the confines for a lake or river, has intrigued scientists. Various hypothesis have been put to the test and while they help explain some of the diversity, there are still many questions that need to be answered. One question is how species can differentiate within a area when there is not physical barrier between them. To answer that question scientists have used spectral analysis to determine if visual sensory inputs were enough to lead to speciation.

Lake Victoria cichlid species around Makobe Island were found to intermingle and despite being very similar, they have become two separate species. By using spectral analysis, scientist have determined that light wavelengths at different depths affect fish coloration differently. The two species, Pundamilia nyererei and Pundamilia pundamilia, spent more time in depths that accentuated their different color patterns. To read more about the research check out the article on News Medical. To discuss the species mentioned in the article visit the Lake Victoria Species forum.


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