Journal of Ichthyology

, 49:741

Development of skeleton elements in juvenile dwarf and small sympatric forms of Salvelinus alpinus complex from Lake Davatchan (Transbaikalia)



The development of skeleton elements was studied in prolarvae, larvae, and fry of two morphologically different forms of the Arctic char Salvelinus alpinus complex—small plankton-eating and dwarf (having a seasonal change of plankton and benthic feeding)—that sympatrically inhabit Lake Davatchan (Transbaikalia). According to genetic data, these forms diverged in this lake from a specialized lacustrine ecotype of char and reached reproductive isolation. Comparative analysis revealed similarity in the shape of anlagen and transitive states of cranial bones. In prolarvae and larvae of the dwarf form, the onset of similar morphological states of skeleton elements occurs at a smaller body length than in fish of the small form. Differences in the development of serial skeleton structures (teeth, gill rakers, fin rays, centra, and scales), heterochronies of timing of appearance and rate of differentiation of skeleton elements were found. It is suggested that these differences resulted from the ecological differentiation of the two forms according to spawning grounds that became local habitats of larvae and fry (sublittoral and hypolimnion). The initial divergence could be caused by the presence in the lake of two (autumn and spring-summer) peaks of numbers of food organisms.

Key words

Arctic char Davatchan dwarf form sympatric forms larval development osteogenesis heterochronies formation of morphological differences 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of BiologyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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