Diversifying selection and color-biased dispersal in the asp viper

Dubey, Sylvain and Zwahlen, Valérie and Mebert, Konrad and Monney, Jean-Claude and Golay, Philippe and Otto, Thomas and Durand, Thierry and Thiery, Gilles and Kaiser, Laura and Geser, Sylvia N. and Ursenbacher, Sylvain. (2015) Diversifying selection and color-biased dispersal in the asp viper. BMC Evolutionary Biology , 15. p. 99.

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The presence of intraspecific color polymorphism can have multiple impacts on the ecology of a species ; as a consequence, particular color morphs may be strongly selected for in a given habitat type. For example, the
asp viper (Vipera aspis) shows a high level of color polymorphism. A blotched morph (cryptic) is common throughout its range (central and western Europe), while a melanistic morph is frequently found in montane populations, presumably for thermoregulatory reasons. Besides, rare atypical uniformly colored individuals are known here and there. Nevertheless, we found in a restricted treeless area of the French Alps, a population containing a high proportion (>50%) of such specimens.
The aim of the study is to bring insight into the presence and function of this color morph by (i) studying the genetic
structure of these populations using nine microsatellite markers, and testing for (ii) a potential local diversifying selection and (iii) differences in dispersal capacity between blotched and non-blotched vipers.
Our genetic analyses support the occurrence of local diversifying selection for the non-blotched phenotype. In
addition, we found significant color-biased dispersal, blotched individuals dispersing more than atypical individuals.
We hypothesize that, in this population, the non-blotched phenotype possess an advantage over the typical
one, a phenomenon possibly due to a better background m
atching ability in a more open habitat. In addition,
color-biased dispersal might be partly associated with the observed local diversifying selection, as it can affect the
genetic structure of populations, and hence the distribution of color morphs.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Mebert, Konrad and Ursenbacher, Sylvain and Zwahlen, Valerie
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:06 Jan 2021 04:11
Deposited On:30 Aug 2016 08:31

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