[en] Population differentiation is one of the main topics in evolutionary biology. Except the exploration of color variation, few studies focused on morphological divergences among populations of coral reef fishes. In this work, we studied morphological and genetic differentiation among populations of the damselfish, Pomacentrus coelestis, in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The shapes of the mandible and the premaxilla were explored using geometric morphometric methods and the genetic structure was investigated using microsattelites. Various tests revealed significant shape variation among most P. coelestis populations for both skeletal units. Morphological variation of the mandible accompanies a genetic break between populations of mainland Japan and Okinawa-Taiwan. However, Mantel and Procrustes tests revealed no congruence between morphological and genetic structures. We illustrate that phenotypic plasticity and adaptive divergence are potential evolutionary mechanisms underlying shape difference among P. coelestis populations. An ecomorphological approach suggests that various diet could be related to shape variation of oral jaws.
National Science Council (Taiwan) NSC95-2611-M002-011- MY3
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