Diet-dependent body morphology and ontogenetic reaction norms in Eurasian perch
Hjelm, Joakim; Svanbäck, Richard; Byström, Pär; Persson, Lennart; Wahlström, Eva
In the pelagic enclosures, perch with high growth rates had a more fusiform body morphology than slow-growing perch, whereas the opposite was found in the lakes, where perch included more macroinvertebrates in their diets. Perch in lakes with a higher proportion of macroinvertebrates in the diet also had deeper body morphology. The opposite morphology - growth rate relationship found between perch in the pelagic versus those using the whole lake suggest a morphological trade-off between foraging on zooplankton and foraging on macroinvertebrates. Our results suggest that YOY perch show different ontogenetic reaction norms as a function of lake-specific resource levels, which may allow YOY recruitment to later stages. Our results further suggest that diet-related changes in morphology are a rapid process.
2001, Volume: 95, number: 2, pages: 311-323
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