Reproductive strategies of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.) forms in Kiryalta lakes, Transbaikalia, Russia

  • S. S. AlekseyevEmail author
  • M. Yu. Pichugin
  • V. P. Samusenok
  • N. V. Gordeeva
  • A. L. Yur’ev
  • V. S. Khlystov
  • A. N. Matveev


The divergence of reproductive strategies is an important development toward intraspecific diversification. We describe contrasting spawning patterns of parapatric and sympatric Arctic charr forms in two interconnected lakes Kiryalta-3 and Kiryalta-4 in Transbaikalia for comparison to charr reproduction in nine more lakes of this region. In each Kiryalta lake, two charr forms (small and large) differing in growth and diet are present, in Kiryalta-3 they are morphologically more distinct than in Kiryalta-4. In Kiryalta-3, the spawning of the small form was recorded in autumn and spring suggesting two subpopulations; spawning time of the large form is unknown. In Kiryalta-4, both forms spawn in autumn. Overall, reproductive patterns of Transbaikalian charr vary greatly in spawning time, duration, location, depth, and bottom substrate. Different populations and sympatric forms spawn in early or late autumn, spring, summer, or during more than one season, including the littoral or profundal zone, over rocks or silt, and from 1–2 weeks to at least 7 months. Peak spawning time difference between sympatric forms can reach up to 5 months, and is correlated with morphological and genetic differences. Diversification of reproductive strategies largely contributed to the emergence of exceptionally high diversity of Transbaikalian charr.


Speciation Sympatric and parapatric forms Spawning Morphology Early development 



We thank N.V. Alekseyeva, A.S. Alekseyev, R.S. Andreev, B.E. Bogdanov, V.V. Buldygerov, A.I. Kalinina, I.B. Knizhin (deceased), N.B. Korostelev, D.B. Salmanov, D.V. Schepotkin, E.O. Sharagin, S.D. Sviridov, A.I. Vokin and I.I. Yur’ev for field assistance; A.A. Sokolov (deceased) and V.Yu. Shelengovskii for assistance in morphological analysis, M.V. Mina, M. Hansen, three anonymous reviewers and an associate editor of the journal for valuable comments on the manuscript. The study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Project No. 18-04-00092), by the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Program № 41 « Biodiversity of natural systems and biological resources of Russia » (Government basic research programs № 0108-2018-00015, 0112-2018-0025) and conducted under Government basic research programs of IDB RAS, No. 0108-2018-0007, IEE RAS, No. 0109-2018-0076 (SSA) and IGG RAS, No. 0112-2016-0002 (NVG).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. S. Alekseyev
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. Yu. Pichugin
    • 3
  • V. P. Samusenok
    • 4
  • N. V. Gordeeva
    • 5
  • A. L. Yur’ev
    • 4
  • V. S. Khlystov
    • 4
  • A. N. Matveev
    • 4
  1. 1.Koltzov Institute of Developmental BiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Faculty of Biology and Soil StudiesIrkutsk State UniversityIrkutskRussia
  5. 5.Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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