Developmental response of young-of-the-year brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) to water velocity

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Imre, István

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University of Guelph


This study investigated: (1) the phenotypic response in the body shape of young-of-the-year (YOY) brook charr induced by rearing environments differing in water velocity and (2) the prevalence of the body shape dimorphism in the field. YOY brook charr were reared in 2 different water velocities for 4 months and their morphology was measured biweekly. Fish reared in the high velocity environment showed significant increases in their maximum caudal fin height at the end of experiment, as compared to fish reared in the low velocity environment. The maximum and minimum caudal fin height diverged between experimental groups early in development. The differences in caudal measurements were result of phenotypic plasticity. The field survey found that fish swimming in slow runs did not differ in body shape from fish inhabiting sidepools. This finding suggested that differences in body shape noted by an earlier study were not stable temporally.



phenotypic response, body shape, young-of-the-year, brook charr, Salvelinus fontinalis, rearing environment, water velocity, body shape dimorphism