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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 783, Issue 1, pp 239–248 | Cite as

Parallel evolution of profundal Arctic charr morphs in two contrasting fish communities

  • Rune Knudsen
  • Per-Arne Amundsen
  • Antti P. Eloranta
  • Brian Hayden
  • Anna Siwertsson
  • Anders Klemetsen
CHARR II

Abstract

A population of small-sized Arctic charr living their entire life cycle in deep water was recently found in Lake Skogsfjordvatn, Northern Norway. Their phenotype and life history closely resembles the profundal charr morph in another subarctic Norwegian lake, Fjellfrøsvatn. Fjellfrøsvatn has one littoral omnivorous and one small profundal benthivorous (PB) charr morph coexisting with brown trout, whereas Skogsfjordvatn has migratory salmon, trout, charr and eel populations in addition to threespined sticklebacks, resident trout and three resident charr morphs of which one is a large piscivorous profundal morph. We predicted that the small profundal charr morph in Skogsfjordvatn would have a similar trophic niche to the PB-morph in Fjellfrøsvatn and tested this by using stomach content and stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analyses. Profundal benthic invertebrates, mainly chironomid larvae, Pisidium sp. mussels and small crustaceans, dominated the diets, and the δ13C and δ15N values indicated almost identical long-term trophic niches of the PB-morphs in both lakes. The prediction was therefore supported. This seems to indicate that the small profundal Arctic charr morphs in these lakes have evolved in parallel, in nearly identical and stable habitat and dietary niches in spite of likely different ecological interactions within the contrasting fish communities.

Keywords

Tri-morphism Salvelinus alpinus Stable trophic niches Stable isotopes Niche divergence 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank our Department Engineers: Cesilie Bye, Laina Dalsbø and Karin S. Johannessen for their work in the field and the lab and Marie Gabler, Kristin Johansen, Bjørn S. Knudsen, Are Mo, Sigrid Skoglund, Aslak Smalås and John F. Strøm for their work in the field. We also thank the Guest Editor Colin E. Adams and the Associate Editor Michael Power for their recommendations, and the anonymous referees for very constructive and helpful reviews.

Supplementary material

10750_2016_2647_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rune Knudsen
    • 1
  • Per-Arne Amundsen
    • 1
  • Antti P. Eloranta
    • 2
    • 3
  • Brian Hayden
    • 4
  • Anna Siwertsson
    • 1
  • Anders Klemetsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Arctic and Marine BiologyUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Aquatic Ecology DepartmentNorwegian Institute for Nature Research -NINATrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  4. 4.Biology DepartmentUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

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