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Genetic Variation in Marine Fishes as a Test of the Niche-Variation Hypothesis

abstract1 (full description below): Nature Vol. 249. June 14, 1974. pp. 670-672
Genetic Variation in Marine Fishes. PDF/Acrobat file     1974. George N. Somero, Michael Soule

This hypothesis, known as the "niche-variation hypothesis", predicts a positive correlation between the protein polymorphism and morphological variation in a population and the relative heterogeneity of the most relevant physical (for example, temperature) and biological (for example, food and competition) variables of the habitat. We designed a test of the following prediction based on the niche-variation hypothesis: since temperature changes will affect all proteins in an ectotherm, species living in extremely stable thermal habitats would be expected to have less protein polymorphism than ectotherms living in habitats where temperature varies widely with a periodicity of less than the generation time.