Evolution in fast forward: haplochromine fishes of the Lake Victoria region

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1997
Authors:L. J. Chapman, Chapman, C. A. , Kaufman, L. S.
Accession Number:4478480
Keywords:Article, Article Subject Terms: Biological speciation, Article Taxonomic Terms: Cichlidae, cichlids, Evolution, fish, Freshwater, Geographic Terms: Africa, Victoria L., Q1 01345 Genetics and evolution, Species extinction

The explosive speciation and adaptive radiation of haplochromine cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria is unrivalled among vertebrates. It holds answers to many intriguing questions about the origins and maintenance of biological diversity. Unfortunately, Lake Victoria is also a case-study in anthropogenic mass extinction. Over 50 per cent of its endemic fishes disappeared between 1980 and 1986. Hundreds of species abruptly became extinct or vanished, disappearing an order of magnitude faster than they could be described. This article examines the dynamics that underlie this fauna's extraordinary volatility, and hence points the way towards its conservation.

Alternate Journal:Endeavour

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